With Paper Towns performing admirably in theaters, it’s full steam ahead for John Green adaptation Looking for Alaska. Paramount and director Rebecca Thomas are continuing to test young actors and actresses for the lead roles of Miles Halter, Alaska Young and Colonel, and today brings word that the previously announced shortlist for contending actors has grown to include some big names.
Bates Motel‘s Nicola Peltz, who had a key role in Transformers: Age of Extinction, has entered the fray alongside Mad Max: Fury Road actress Courtney Eaton, according to TheWrap. Both (pictured above) are testing for the coveted part of Alaska, a mysterious boarding school student whose enigmatic nature and stunning looks transfix new student Miles.
Peltz and Eaton are duking it out with the previously announced Imogen Waterhouse (a model making the leap to cinema with next year’s The Last Photograph) and Anya Taylor-Joy, who is attracting lots of attention since breaking out in period horror-thriller The Witch.
Meanwhile, TheWrap reports that Charlie Rowe (Red Band Society), at one point a finalist to play Marvel and Sony’s new Spider-Man, is still the frontrunner to play Miles, but up-and-comer Mitchell Hope, who has a role in this month’s Disney Channel Original Movie Descendants, is still in the mix.
Still, insiders report that Rowe and Taylor-Joy are the current faves to win the roles. Anything could happen once the studio and Thomas start examining the chemistry between actors, however.
As for Colonel, who is both Alaska’s best friend and Miles’ roommate, currently in the running are John D’Leo (Unbroken) and Logan Miller (The Stanford Prison Experiment). No word on whether there’s a frontrunner there yet.
John Green’s name alone is a pretty solid box office draw, so it makes sense that Thomas is reportedly open to casting two lesser-known actors in the lead roles. Taylor-Joy would fit the bill there, though Peltz’s history with Paramount given Transformers could provide her a slight edge over the competition.
Expect decisions to be made shortly. Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber penned the script, and Thomas will get before the camera as soon as possible, given that Paramount seems to be eyeing a 2016 release for Looking for Alaska.