Sometimes all you need is a sweet, sentimental piece of fiction to ignite a healthy flash of catharsis. John Green's novels, and the films they have inspired, are the perfect solution for those searching for something as uplifting as it is heartwarming.
Since 2008, Green has written a handful of young adult novels that make us laugh, cry, and deeply consider what's really important in life. For fans of Green's works, it would be a dream come true to see his characters play out their stories on the silver screen.
From Looking for Alaska to The Fault In Our Stars, here's everything you need to know about Green's novels and if/when they'll be turned into movies.
Looking For Alaska
- Publication Date: March 2005
- Adaptation Status: Shelved indefinitely
- Logline: Miles "Pudge" Halter's life is far from remarkable. But when the high school junior leaves his home in Florida to attend the Culver Creek Boarding School in Alabama, he meets the fascinating and destructive Alaska Young and his life is never the same.
Shortly after Green's first novel was released, the film rights were purchased by Paramount. After over a decade of being tossed between a number of screenwriters, producers and directors, Looking for Alaska was stuck in development purgatory — or, more accurately, hell.
While the film rights to the novel were acquired by Paramount Pictures in 2005, there seems to be no hope of it being adapted anytime soon. Fan hopes were briefly raised when it looked like Rebecca Thomas had signed on to direct in 2015 after the success of The Fault In Our Stars.
Unfortunately, in more recent reports and accounts from Green, that forward momentum has stalled. In the FAQ section of his website he writes:
"The rights to the Looking for Alaska movie are owned by Paramount. Paramount will probably still own the rights to LFA when my initial readers grow up and become famous film executives; hopefully then someone will make it."
After the fan-made poster above gained traction and got people talking about it again, Green had to clarify that the movie was, sadly, still not happening. One reader reached out on Twitter to ask why he can't regain the rights, he spelled it out plain and simple.
Still, Looking For Alaska fans can find it in themselves to remain hopeful and maybe even help push Paramount into making the movie they want to see.
An Abundance of Katherines
- Publication Date: September 21, 2006
- Adaptation Status: Nothing in progress
- Logline: Colin Singleton, a former child prodigy might have a genius IQ, but he's still learning when it comes to the ways of love. Over his life he's dated 19 different women, but he does have a type: they're all named Katherine. With his best friend in tow, the two embark on a road trip, determined to prove his theorem that aims to predict the result of any relationship.
In 2007 the film rights to Green's second novel, An Abundance of Katherines, were optioned by East of Doheny Productions. Again, things didn't pan out and the movie never got off the ground. On his website, Green wrote:
"An Abundance of Katherines was optioned by a small production company that in the end couldn’t get a movie together."
That being said, Green recently signed a first-look deal with Fox 2000 pictures, meaning the minute East of Doheny's rights to An Abundance of Katherines expire, Fox will be the first allowed to purchase them from Green. Considering The Fault In Our Stars brought in over $300 million in box office returns, I'm sure the studio will be champing at the bit to move forward with another Green property.
Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances
- Publication Date: October 2, 2008
- Adaptation Status: November 2017 release (hopefully)
- Logline: This novel is a compilation of stories from three different authors about separate teenagers whose lives surprisingly intersect after being caught who caught in the same Gracetown snow storm at Christmastime.
Technically, Let It Snow doesn't just belong to John Green, but also the two other young adult authors that penned additions to the anthology, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle. So it's no surprise that the joint authors shared in their excitement upon learning that Universal had bought the film rights to their work in 2014.
The screenplay was first penned by Kay Cannon, but was later passed along to The Fault In Our Stars screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber for revision, with Luke Snellin set to direct. Though initially set for a December 2016 release, in April of this year Variety reported the release date was postponed for unspecified reasons to November 2017.
In any case, Let It Snow is coming, all we have to do is wait a little longer for it!
- Publication Date: October 16, 2008
- Adaptation Status: Completed
- Movie Release Date: July 24, 2015
- Logline: Quentin Jacobsen has been in love with his neighbor Margo Roth Spiegelman since childhood, but he's never had the guts to tell her and their high school days are winding down. After a night of wild misadventures with Margo, Q and his best friends go on the road trip of a lifetime to see if she feels the same.
Paper Towns was released in theaters in 2015. The screenplay was written by Green and directed by Jake Schreier. Starring as Q and Margo were Nat Wolff (The Fault In Our Stars) and Cara Delevingne (Suicide Squad). After a number of release delays, Green's second adaptation finally worked its way into theaters.
Though 20th Century Fox's Paper Towns opening came short of The Fault In Our Stars the year before, it still earned $85.5 million worldwide on a $12 million budget. Despite garnering mixed reviews from critics — it was deemed rotten with just 56% of critics rating the film positively through Rotten Tomatoes — the adaptation still hit the mark with plenty of John Green fans.
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Will Grayson, Will Grayson
- Publication Date: April 6, 2010
- Adaptation Status: Not even optioned
- Logline: Will Grayson and Will Grayson might share a name and live in the same city, but their lives are incredibly different. Written from two perspectives, the high school students — one gay and one straight — come to find that that despite their differences, there is a lot of common ground between them as their stories intertwine.
In 2010, Green partnered with David Levithan to craft the novel Will Grayson, Will Grayson. Each author penned half of the book for one of the Wills. Their stories alternated from chapter to chapter, and explored the day-to-day lives as they converge, but from the perspectives of each character.
Given the uniqueness of the story, it is pretty surprising that Will Grayson, Will Grayson has still yet to be picked up. On Green's website, he goes into slight detail about one of the roadblocks the book faced with a certain unnamed producer.
WGWG has not been optioned. (To quote a real live movie producer who really said this about Will Grayson, Will Grayson, “The only thing Hollywood hates more than smart teenagers is smart, gay teenagers.” I hope Hollywood will prove this movie producer wrong someday.)
Though not quite as popular a title as Looking for Alaska, there is still a lot of interest from fans to get an adaptation off the ground. In the meantime, however, fans can enjoy more of Green and Levithan's larger than life character, Tiny Cooper in Levithan's 2015 musical spinoff novel Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story.
The Fault in Our Stars
- Publication Date: January 10, 2012
- Adaptation Status: Completed
- Movie Release Date: June 6, 2014
- Logline: Hazel Grace is a teenage cancer patient trying to make the most of what she figures to be her last few years of life. However, one thing she didn't anticipate was meeting and falling in love with cancer survivor Augustus Waters.
The Fault In Our Stars may have been John Green's most recent novel, but it was the first of his works to get the book to film adaptation treatment. And if you've read the book, it's easy to see why.
Playing the star-crossed lovers are talented teens Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort, with Laura Dern, Sam Trammell, Nat Wolff and Willem Dafoe playing their friends and family. Josh Boone (Stuck In Love) was tapped as director for the 20th Century Fox picture.
The Fault In Our Stars received largely positive reviews from critics and fans alike — overall the movie is rated at 81% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes — and earned a whopping $307 million in the box office on a $14 million budget. After it's release, no one was shocked when more of Green's projects moved closer to being given the green light at long last.
Keep a weather eye on the horizon, as more John Green adaptations are on their way. And if Green's deal with Fox 2000 pans out, we may finally get to see Looking for Alaska come to life!