Sometimes all you need is a sweet, sentimental piece of fiction to spark some serious catharsis. John Green's novels, and the films they have inspired, are the perfect solution for those searching for something uplifting, heartwarming, and poignant.
Since 2008, Green has written a handful of very popular young adult novels that make us laugh, cry, and deeply consider what's really important in life. Dubbed the 'Teenage Whisperer,' #JohnGreen's novels are among some of the most beloved novels in YA fiction. After the storming successes of The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns, John Green novels are a hot commodity — and fans of his work will be thrilled to learn there's so much more to come.
From #LookingForAlaska to Will Grayson, 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
- Blurb: 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 around by a number of screenwriters, producers and directors, Looking for Alaska is still stuck in development 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 in 2015, when it looked like Rebecca Thomas had signed on to direct Alaska after the success of #TheFaultInOurStars.
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."
Green hasn't spoken about the movie in a while, perhaps because it's too hard to keep clarifying 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:
After the successes of Fault and Paper Towns, it's bizarre that Paramount can't (or won't) start the engine on this sure-fire hit. At this point in time, Green and Paramount don't seem to be on speaking terms, and according to the author, the company won't even return his calls. What a bummer. 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: No updates
- Blurb: 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 have first refusal to purchase the rights 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 project.
'Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances'
- Publication Date: October 2, 2008
- Adaptation Status: In development (November 2017 possibly)
- Logline: This novel is a compilation of stories from three different authors about separate teenagers whose lives surprisingly intersect after being 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 2016 Variety reported the release date was postponed for unspecified reasons to November 2017.
In any case, Let It Snow is on its way, and November is just around the corner.
'Will Grayson, Will Grayson'
- Publication Date: April 6, 2010
- Adaptation Status: Has not been 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, each tackling the perspective of one of the titular Wills. Their stories alternated from chapter to chapter, and explored their day-to-day lives from each of their perspectives.
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, with a bunch of fan-made trailers circulating the internet. 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.
Keep an 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 An Abundance of Katherines come to life!