How The After We Collided Director Passed The Torch For The Upcoming Sequels

One of the biggest hits of the year was After We Collided, the first sequel for Anna Todd’s book series phenomenon that started on Wattpad as a Harry Styles-inspired fan fiction back in 2013 at the height of One Direction’s fame. As the After series developed into the big-screen love story of Tessa and Hardin, it has become a major success that enlisted the likes of Cruel Intentions director Roger Kumble in the director’s chair.

The famed filmmaker took over for Jenny Gage following her work on last year’s After, but he will not continue to helm the franchise moving forward. Indie family-film director Castille Landon has taken over for the last two movies After We Fell and After Ever Happy, which are currently in production back-to-back. When CinemaBlend spoke to Roger Kumble for the Just Friends 15th anniversary, he also gave an update on his experience with After We Collided. In his words:

I’d never done a sequel before and it was kind of fun stepping into that situation and adding humor to it basically with this very serious, kind of young romance. I knew I couldn’t sustain it without adding humor, which is interesting because I’d say 60 percent of the fans loved what I did and 40 percent are outside my house right now with torches. My attempt was to have that experience and I know Castille Landon, who is doing three and four, I’m sure she’s great. She’s making her own thing and I wished her well on social media and said ‘here’s my number however I can be helpful’ and I wish her the best. I was very happy that they hired a woman to get that voice because they started with a female director and then they went to me.

As Roger Kumble explained, he was excited to step into an already established space to direct After We Collided, where Josephine Langford (who told us how big of a Star Wars fan she is earlier this year) and Hero Fiennes Tiffin had already bonded, formed relationships together and with the characters. His biggest priority was to inject some humor into the script written by After author, Anna Todd and Mario Celaya. The sequel certainly had some more lighthearted moments, including with the addition of Dylan Sprouse’s Trevor. Walking away from the franchise, it sounds like he is happy to hand it off to another female director, considering the entire series is told from Tessa’s POV, and the project will certainly allow Castille Landon to be a part of her highest profile movie yet.

Although the movie was sent to theaters during the COVID-19 pandemic, After We Collided did really well worldwide under the circumstances, scoring $47.9 million at the box office. The first movie made $69 million worldwide pre-pandemic, a huge success for the under-$20 million budgeted flick. It’s no wonder the series is continuing with two more films, though specific release dates have not been announced just yet.

After We Collided left the couple between a rock and a hard place as Tessa got offered a job in another state and has been confronted by her long lost father. Fans of the books know where this goes, but we’ll keep watch here on CinemaBlend as the franchise shakes out on set and at the movies.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.