With a star-studded adapation of his bestseller The Fault In Our Stars, about the unusual romance between two teen cancer patients, primed to light up the box office this June, it’s safe to say that novelist John Green is having a pretty phenomenal 2014. Today, Green got even more great news, with Fox 2000’s announcement that the studio has picked up his book Paper Towns and plans to reteam with The Fault In Our Stars writers Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, producers Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen, and co-star Nat Wolff, for the adaptation.
Considering how well The Fault In Our Stars is tracking (its first trailer broke 3 million views in less than 24 hours), Fox 2000’s enthusiasm in extending its working relationship with Green doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Paper Towns is widely considered to be one of his best works, so fan anticipation is already high for the adaptation. Luckily, what we’ve seen of The Fault In Our Stars (which stars Divergent actors Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort) thus far seems to accurately capture the duality between hilarity and heartbreak that made Green’s book so distinctive, so news that Fox 2000 is entrusting another Green adaptation to the same team definitely bodes well for it.
In particular, Neustadter and Weber have a very strong track record. In addition to The Fault In Our Stars, the screenwriting duo previously wrote (500) Days of Summer and The Spectacular Now, two romantic dramedies roundly acclaimed for their refreshingly honest, bittersweet tone. Wolff, who co-stars in The Fault In Our Stars as cancer patient Isaac, has also proven his considerable dramatic talents in the criminally underrated Stuck In Love and Admission.
More importantly, Wolff is an extremely good fit for the protagonist of Paper Towns. The book, set in Orlando, follows a quiet but philosophical teenager named Quentin, who once discovered a suicide victim with his beautiful neighbor Margo. Years later, they’ve drifted apart, so Quentin is surprised when Margo shows up, dressed as a ninja, outside his bedroom window. Eager to reconnect with Margo, with whom he’s long been infatuated, Quentin allows himself to be swept up in her night-long quest to take revenge on all those who have wronged her. The next morning, however, she’s disappeared. When Quentin, still baffled over the events of that night, begins receiving clues from her, he becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to her.
Wolff proved that he could handle a character highly similar to Quentin in Stuck In Love, so I’m extremely happy to see him take on this part. Hopefully Fox 2000 can also land Josh Boone, the talented director behind both The Fault In Our Stars and Stuck In Love, for Paper Towns, but the project is already off to a promising start.
Now the only question that remains is who Green and Fox 2000 will pick for the part of Margo. My hope is that either Mae Whitman, known for The Perks Of Being A Wallflower and once a frontrunner for the part of Hazel in The Fault In Our Stars, or Liana Liberato, so effective in both Stuck In Love and last month’s Haunt, will sign on, but I’m sure there’s already a bevy of great teen actresses out there clamoring for the role, so it’ll be very interesting to see who ends up on top.
We’ll keep you posted when we hear more!