In Vulture‘s The Toughest Scene I Wrote article, screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, spoke about the adaption of The Fault in Our Stars to screen, and the impact it had for them on a personal level.
Normally, writing a script from a book like this, which was an emotional, yet fairly simple, storyline, wouldn’t be too hard to adapt. There are not complicated plotlines, no battle scenes, no duality issues with characters. Just a straightforward story about two teens finding love while dealing with an illness.
However, imagine this scenario. Your father has died of pancreatic cancer, and a few weeks after his death, you read The Fault in Our Stars. This is what happened to Scott. Some people may not want to take up the challenge of adapting such a book when the grief of someone’s death from cancer still lingers, but that’s exactly what Scott did.
Needless to say, the “simple” adaptation was very difficult indeed. And regarding what the toughest scene to write was? Having to pinpoint one scene, they acknowledged a certain dinner scene: After having traveled to Amsterdam to visit Hazel’s favorite book’s author, the author’s assistant welcomes them to the city via a note which offers them a complimentary dinner in a way-too-fine restaurant for teens, but are treated like a princes and princess.
During their conversation, the romantic aspect of takes a backseat as they discuss their inevitable fate and the afterlife, or what they believe of it. For the writers, this was the toughest scene to write, because, as stated, “if there was one idea that characterized the entire adaptation, that was it.”
The scene below is of Hazel and Gus discussing whether they believe in a heaven.
It’s certainly not the most emotional scene for many, but it’s definitely one of the more intense moments of the movie.