As is the way of things, even as one John Green adaptation hits theaters, another is kicking into high gear. With Paper Towns arriving on screen this week, Paramount and director Rebecca Thomas are close to casting the leads in Looking for Alaska.
Charlie Rowe, who was at one point a contender for the role of Spider-Man, and Mitchell Hope, who’ll be seen in Disney’s Descendants later this month, are the finalists for the male lead in the coming-of-age drama, adapted from Green’s 2006 novel (his first).
Additionally, The Witch actress Anya Taylor-Joy is the frontrunner for the lead female role of Alaska Young. Immy Waterhouse, the younger sister of Insurgent actress Suki Waterhouse, is also vying for the part, along with two other actresses who are as of yet unnamed.
Thomas, who broke out with Electrick Children back in 2012, is open to casting a fresh face in the lead role, though Paramount had reportedly been hoping to find an actress with more of an established fan base, like Chloe Moretz or Star Wars‘ Daisy Ridley. Regardless, choices are apparently about to be made for both main parts, as Thomas has been in New York reading lines with potential actresses.
Looking for Alaska will follow a quirky teen named Miles who goes to boarding school in his junior year, where he meets the enigmatic Alaska, the school’s beautiful yet emotionally unstable wild child. Falling head over heels, Miles attempts to piece through all Alaska’s myriad mysteries.
Green’s go-to scribes Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber are penning the screenplay, as they did for The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns.
Neither Rowe, Hope nor Waterhouse are well-known commodities, but John Green adaptations seem like such solid box office bets that it makes sense studios would be willing to take risks on unproven up-and-comers.