The LA Times did a very interesting story on the TFiOS movie this past week.
On marketing and the original ending to the book:
One minute, he was sitting with Fox honchos in director’s chairs, sharing his ideas for marketing the movie (“I can be in as many places as you can fly me in a single night”), the next, he was regaling the executives with the wild story of the preposterous ending he first wrote for the book (It involved a road trip to Mexico and a battle with narco-terrorists.)
On his friendship with 14 year-old Esther Earl:
It wasn’t until he met 14-year-old cancer patient Esther Earl at a Harry Potter convention that his thoughts about children with illness took shape as a real story. He spent a lot of time with Esther toward the end of her life, organizing her Make-a-Wish (bringing all her online friends to Boston for a weeklong celebration). After she died, his novel came alive.
He says flatly that Esther was not the basis for his protagonist, Hazel Grace, who has stage 4 thyroid cancer.
“Hazel and Esther are very different people, but I could never have written Hazel had I never been friends with Esther,” said Green, sitting outside a hotel in downtown Pittsburgh, dressed casually in a green “Hunger Games”-themed T-shirt and jeans. “My friendship with Esther taught me two things: how empathetic and outwardly focused teenagers can be, and that Esther’s life was still a good life and she was glad to have lived it.”
On wondering if the film will stand up to the book:
One afternoon, Green settled into his director’s chair to watch Laura Dern and Sam Trammell, who play Hazel’s parents, prepare for a pivotal scene. Their daughter is struggling to breathe, and they believe she is going to pass away. The two get ready to say goodbye.
“After this scene, I’ll be so much more relaxed about the rest of the film,” said Green as director Josh Boone directed the cameras into close-up position on Dern and Trammell.
Dern leaned into the camera, urging her daughter to let go. Fighting a breakdown, Dern then pulled away, burying her head in Trammell’s chest. “I’m not going to be a mom anymore,” she wept. “I’m not going to be a mom anymore.”
Green covered his eyes; tears streamed down his cheeks.
Finally, he spoke: “I’m not worried anymore.”
Read the rest of the article here.