After Everything is receiving backlash following the absence of Josephine Langford as the film’s protagonist, Tessa Young.
The fifth and final movie in the After film franchise was released on Wednesday, September 13, but it wasn’t what fans were expecting. While Hero Fiennes Tiffin reprised his role as Hardin Scott, Langford was absent for most of the film. She did, however, appear in a proposal scene that has since been shared on social media.
“Now what we’re not going to do is blame Josephine here. Her contract was for 4 movies, the movies were meant to end,” one fan wrote on X (formerly Twitter). “It’s not her fault they decided to do a cash grab movie nothing like her books. Why would she want to continue working with these men after everything?”
The final installment in the franchise follows “Hardin struggling to move forward” following his breakup from Tessa, the Voltage Pictures official logline reads.
“Hardin travels to Portugal in search of a woman he wronged in the past — and to find himself,” the description continues. “Hoping to win back Tessa, he realizes he needs to change his ways before he can make the ultimate commitment.
Following its release, another social media user claimed the movie had ruined the story.
“We are so many fans that we love the story of the books and we love Hero and Jo(together) … and you just killed us,” they shared on X. “No respect for the fans No respect for the books No respect for Josephine Langford I need answers.”
When a first look at After Everything was released this past May, eagle-eyed fans were quick to point out that Langford appeared to have a reduced role, noting that all her scenes in the trailer had been taken from the other four films.
Because of this, the movie started receiving hate online with some fans harassing “cast, crew, and equally importantly, their friends and families,” something the film studio called “unacceptable” in a social media statement.
“It saddens us to have to write this message, but it is necessary given the behavior we have seen from some users,” the official After movie Instagram account shared in a statement on May 11. “As a community, we are open to hear your thoughts and opinions. If you’re upset with the studio, you have every right to tell us.”
The statement concluded: “We have been made aware of negative comments and messages by a few people and we do not tolerate it. Please be respectful to each other and direct your feedback — good or bad — to us.”
Fans continued to share their issues with the film franchise in the comments section at the time.
“A movie without the main character is not a movie, and the story is completely distorted from what it is in the book!!!!!” one social media user wrote. Another added, “If you really cared about us and the story none of this would be happening. You and your team decided to change Hardin and Tessa’s whole story of overcoming and love and wanted us to stay what? happy?”
The After movie franchise is based on a series of books of the same name written by Anna Todd. Originally, the novels were written as fan-fiction on Wattpad, where the character of Hardin was inspired by Harry Styles — there are only four After novels and one prequel.
The first After film was released in April 2019 with fans anticipating its sequel. After We Collided was released in September 2020 and After We Fell got a September 2021 release date. When After Ever Happy was released in September 2022, it was set to be the final film in the series. However, it ended differently from the books — with Hardin and Tessa breaking up instead of ending up together. The announcement of the fifth movie caused confusion (and the eventual hate) from fans as it was so different from the novels.
While the film’s stars have stayed quiet amid the backlash, Langford previously spoke about wrapping up the franchise and what would get her to return as Tessa.
“I would want to come back if it was important, and it made sense,” Langford told StyleCaster in 2021. “I’m not a fan of overstaying your welcome. It can sometimes dampen a good thing if you’re creating something and it’s canon, and it doesn’t have a reason.”