Sam Trammell, best known for playing the shapeshifting bar owner Sam Merlotte on HBO’s True Blood, has become the latest addition the Josh Boone-directed The Fault In Our Stars. The Wrap reports Trammell will join the cast that includes Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Nat Wolff and Laura Dern.
Based on the young adult novel by John Green, The Fault in Our Stars will be a romantic drama centering on the doomed relationship between two teens afflicted with cancer. Woodley, who broke through in film with her heartbreaking and bold performance opposite George Clooney in Alexander Payne’s Academy Award-winning dramedy The Descendants, fronts the film as Hazel Grace Lancaster, a 16-year-old who has been living in the shadow of terminal cancer for all of her adolescence. Understandably, Hazel is clinically depressed, but she finds hope and joy when she meets Augustus “Gus” Waters (newcomer Elgort), a boy who had to give up basketball dreams when he lost his leg to an aggressive osteosarcoma.
But beyond being a story of tragic first love, Green’s The Fault in Our Stars has a quest at its core. In the novel, Hazel is fixated on a book called An Imperial Affliction, which ends on an ambiguous note. Gus suggests they use his Make-A-Wish opportunity to travel to Amsterdam and meet the book’s reclusive author Peter van Houten. While this trip could give Hazel some closure, the girl fears getting closer to Gus, as she worries how her inevitable death will impact him. Basically, this is sure to be a total tearjerker.
Trammell, Dern, and Wolff will make up most of the supporting cast, with the first two playing father and mother to Hazel, and the last taking on the role of Isaac, Gus’s best friend. There’s no mention yet who might play van Houten. But with production on the film set to begin in Pittsburgh later this month, we expect to hear news on that front in short order.
It seems Trammell was handpicked for The Fault in Our Stars as the film is being put together by two of True Blood’s producers, Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen. The New Orleans native has been steadily carving a path in television, earning one-off roles on drama series like House, Judging, Bones and Dexter. But True Blood has offered a major turning point in Trammell’s career. He has seen a notable rise in film roles. Earlier this year, he starred opposite Virginia Madsen in the romantic comedy Crazy Kind of Love. And aside fromThe Fault in Our Stars, he has five other films in the pipeline, including a teen drama called White Rabbit, a fame-focused comedy titled Me, and the lawyer-centered thriller Deadweight. But this new project might be the most promising in the bunch.
To be perfectly frank The Fault in Our Stars looks great on paper. It’s based on a novel that has received critical praise, and was snatched up by Fox the same month it hit bookshelves. It’s teen leads lend it a lot of buzz, as Woodley is winning rave reviews on her latest The Spectacular Now and Elgort has two other big name releases coming first, Kimberly Peirce’s Carrie and the tent pole adaptation of Divergent, in which Woodley also stars. Add to that a screenplay by (500) Days of Summer and The Spectacular Now’s scribes Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, and it seems The Fault in Our Stars could well be next summer’s heartbreaking hit.