What started as a Wattpad story posted weekly from the pseudonym “Imaginator 1D,” (Anna Todd) has since become her After series, the best-selling young adult books turned a romance film franchise in the heat of its next movie, After We Fell. Tessa and Hardin are back this weekend for an intense continuation of their college coupling, which will be under higher pressure this time around as their relationship comes at a crossroads. Before you check out the next installment in the After movies, there’s a few things you might want to remember about the series.
After We Fell comes just two years following Josephine Langford and Hero Fiennes Tiffin’s first outing as Tessa and Hardin in the first After movie, which became a big-screen phenomenon, especially considering its shoe-string production budget. Picking up where 2020’s After We Collided left off, let’s catch you up on what to know before the third movie:
Tessa Got A Job Offer In Seattle At Her Publishing Firm
Last year’s After We Collided saw Tessa nabbing an internship at Vance Publishing, which is where she met Dylan Sprouse’s Trevor, and caused a bit of hullabaloo when Hardin started to get threatened by their friendship. The job was hard work, but an opportunity that Tessa really enjoyed and paid off for the forwarding of her career. At the end of After We Collided, Tessa is invited to work there over in Seattle by Trevor and the company at large, making for a potentially exciting next step for her.
When we pick up with After We Fell, Tessa will have a decision to make and it will test their relationship as they know it. In After We Collided, Hardin reads a text message off of Tessa’s phone regarding her move to Seattle with Vance publishing, but the upcoming movie will really deal with the nuances that come with Tessa relocating.
After We Collided Ended With Tessa’s Father Returning
Another major element of After We Collided was when it was revealed that Tessa’s estranged father had come out of the woodwork when she was a young girl. Tessa was primarily raised by her mother Carol after Richard (Atanas Srebrev) left their home while she was growing up. This was due to her parent’s rocky relationship at the time. Her father’s exit from her life has shaped Tessa’s relationships and attitudes toward them in a lot of ways.
In the first After movie, Tessa opens up to Hardin about how her previous boyfriend Noah was the person who she could turn to when he left, hence why they might have stayed together up until she met Hardin. Richard appeared in After We Collided (played previously by Stefan Rollins), first approaching Hardin about her and later approaching the couple together on the street. That’s when Tessa recognizes her father, but unfortunately he looks to be living on the street all these years later. After We Fell will explore Richard and Tessa’s relationship more.
A Ton Of The Supporting Cast Has Been Switched Around
A downside of the After franchise switching up directors and writers so much, is how many members of the supporting cast have been shifted during the franchise, notably between After We Collided and After We Fell. So if you’re confused as to why a certain character isn’t familiar, there’s a good reason why. We’re going to quickly break down some of the casting changes.
In After We Fell, best friend to Tessa and Hardin, Landon, will be played by The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina actor Chance Perdomo, a character previously played by Shane Paul McGhie in After We Collided. Christian and Kimberly Vance of the publishing firm, were also played by Charlie Weber and Candice King and have been replaced by Stephen Moyer and Arielle Kebbel. Also Selma Blair will no longer be playing Tessa’s mom, it will be Mira Sorvino instead. Whew, that’s a lot!
Tessa And Hardin’s Relationship Is Toxic On Purpose
From the outside looking in, the After series can come off as a kind of “WTF?” romance series, because much of the time, it’s not very romantic. Hardin is often rude and jealous and Tessa is always trying to calm him down or explain herself to him. Sure, they have fun when they have sex, but truth be told, it’s pretty toxic. The movies have already been under fire for its often troubling portrayal of a young couple. When speaking to Decider last year, star Josephine Langford shed some light on it:
While the books and movies may serve different purposes and will definitely hit one differently depending on if you’re a fan of the books or walking in blind, there is definitely an awareness from the creatives behind it that these two are not exactly couple goals. It’s about a very flawed relationship’s journey and I must say, After We Fell, will make that apparent better than the others did.
Hardin’s Bad-Boy Attitude Is The Result Of A Traumatic Childhood
Hero Fiennes Tiffin’s character of Hardin, is yes, inspired by Harry Styles, but not at all personality wise. Hardin is a bitter and angry character, and as the After series explores, there’s a big reason behind it. Childhood shapes many of our own personalities and sense of character, and these movies seem to really explore both Tessa and Hardin’s tumultuous family life as they have their own struggles with their own relationship and personal healing.
Hardin may not exactly be the man of one’s dreams, ripped out of your usual rom-com, but at least After will continue to explore why he is the way he is as the franchise continues with After We Fell.
After We Fell Is The Third Out Of Four After Movies
Lastly, don’t expect After We Fell to wrap up the After franchise. The movie was shot back-to-back with the upcoming fourth and final installment After Ever Happy, which will wrap up the series starring Josephine Langford and Hero Fiennes Tiffin’s Tessa and Hardin. Once After We Fell comes out, the final film will likely come this time next year. But once the credits roll on After Ever Happy, there’s more to come. There’s reportedly going to be two spinoff films exploring Anna Todd’s franchise.
After We Fell comes to theaters on September 30 and will be available on demand on October 19.
Your Daily Blend of Entertainment News
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.