Sure, they have similar premises: A female disappears and leaves clues for her male love interest to track her down. But John Green's Paper Towns and Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl are two separate, and very different films. For one, the contents of Paper Towns was intended for a young adult audience. Gone Girl, which features sex, adultery, and brutal scenes of murder, is decidedly R-rated content. Paper Towns on the other hand earned a PG-13 rating, and is more family-friendly fare. "Its hilarious. I don't know why!" author John Green laments, reacting to the comparison. "I mean, whatever, I'll take it. I greatly enjoyed Gone Girl."
Paper Towns, which came out in 2008, four years prior to Gone Girl's 2012 release surrounds high school senior Quentin Jacobsen and his life-long obsession with neighbor Margo Roth Spiegelman. When she appears in his bedroom in the middle of the night dressed like a ninja, he follows her and her ingenious revenge plot. But after they enact the plan together, Margo disappears, leaving Quentin to unravel the clues she's left behind, just for him. Gone Girl, though involving a disappearing woman and a revenge plot, involves a lot less heart-warming sentiments, and a lot more blood.
"It's a very different kind of story, it has a very different tone," John Green says of his novel. "For example, the women aren't terrible, etc."
Watch the trailer for Paper Towns, which hits theaters July 24, below: