In 2005, Paramount Pictures bought the rights to author John Green’s first novel, Looking For Alaska. They even had the writer of The O.C. draft a script. It is now 2014…Where’s my movie, Paramount? Often times when rights to novels are purchased, this doesn’t necessarily mean there will be a movie. Sometimes, it means the hopes of that movie will be locked away in a vault, never to be produced for the fans aching to see it. Well, I say that’s cruel and unusual punishment. Luckily for me, Hollywood seems to agree with me. After nearly a decade, they have begun reworking the adaptation, picking Sarah Polley (Take This Waltz, Away From Her) as the screenwriter. Here are four reasons why we are excited for Looking For Alaska to be brought out of the labyrinth of suffering and onto the big screen.
There was something so perfect about the three major characters. They were so individually flawed, one no more than the other, but they came together in a way that you slowly fell in love with. You have the irrational, moody Alaska, the passive, semi-self-indulgent Pudge and the headstrong, hotheaded Colonel. Falling in love with their characters and their friendship on paper was an amazing experience. I’m eager to fall in love with them on screen as well.
If you’ve read anything by John Green (especially his recently adapted novel The Fault in Our Stars), you know that basically everything he writes is quotable. And it all began with Looking For Alaska. Its charm is that a lot of what’s quotable is so simple, but it’s exactly everything you’ve ever wanted to say. For example, when Miles (AKA “Pudge”) is thinking about the way he sees Alaska and he says:
So I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane.” Mostly, the quotable moments are exciting because, as John Green himself said, “Maybe our favorite quotations say more about us than the stories and people we’re quoting.
As mentioned before, John Green’s novel The Fault in Our Stars was just recently brought to the big screen. And, did I mention it ruled? Not only did they stay as true to the book as can be expected in an adaptation, but they casted the roles perfectly. If they can get Augustus Waters and Hazel Lancaster right, I have high hopes for the cast of Looking For Alaska.
Looking For Alaska epitomizes what it’s like to be a teenager, to experience things for the first time, to have your heartbroken and even how to deal and move forward when tragedy strikes. It hits home on so many criteria that make a good film. I want to see the way Miles admires Alaska from afar, their crazy pranks, the nasty vodka-milk combination the Colonel always drinks and Alaska and Miles’ first and only kiss. I want to see the invincibility these characters had, ever youthful, ever-growing. As always, John Green said it best:
“When adults say, ‘Teenagers think they are invincible’ with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don’t know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail.”
Honestly, I’m just not ready to let this story go. But, my imagination can only go so far. So thank you, Sarah Polley, for the (hopefully) amazing book-to-movie adaptation you’re about to bring me. I looked forward to crying at a screen instead of previously tear-stained pages. Let us go to seek a great perhaps!