After We Collided’s stars and creator say movies just can’t ignore young, female fans anymore

Books for women and by women tend to get a bad rap. They’re “chick lit,” or “trashy romances.” Fan fiction—which is often written by women for whom writing isn’t a full time job—is viewed as less than, a tawdry, childish foray into a fantasy world. But titles for women and by women are some of the book industry’s most read and most profitable, and fan fiction sites like Wattpad and Archive Of Our Own have yielded a number of works with millions upon millions of rabid followers.

That’s certainly the case with the After franchise, which has now yielded its second film, After We Collided. Originally written by Anna Todd as a nod to Harry Styles, the series has been read by hundreds of millions of people around the world, and the new movie—which has been rolled out to less COVID-infested countries all fall—has already earned over $45 million dollars at the international box office.

The A.V. Club talked to Todd and After stars Josephine Langford and Hero Fiennes Tiffin about why money talks, traditional methods stink, and why the film industry just can’t ignore rabid female fandoms anymore.

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