John Green's 'Looking For Alaska' Is Becoming A TV Show & The Author Gave Fans All The Details In A Reddit AMA
With the Looking for Alaska screen adaptation closer now than ever, YA author John Green conducted an impromptu AMA in the Nerdfighters subreddit last week. If you didn't have time to read through it all, or if you just don't want to, I have seven important takeaways from John Green's Looking for Alaska AMA for you to read below.
John Green fans got some fantastic news last week, when we learned that a Looking for Alaska limited series is currently in development over at Hulu. (Cue girlish screams from all of us who have been waiting 13 years — That's longer than Sirius Black was in Azkaban, y'all! — for this adaptation.) Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, who were the team behind The OC, will head up the Looking for Alaska adaptation. Schwartz, whom Green says "cared about the book before almost anyone else had even read it," has already written the pilot script, which got the seal of approval from Green himself.
Looking for Alaska fans have had 13 years to think about how they want their favorite scenes to show up on screen, and even the author has one moment in particular that he's excited to see in the adaptation. Keep reading below to find out what scene that is, and to learn the other important takeaways from John Green's Looking for Alaska AMA.
He Feels Embarrassed And Flattered That People Still Love 'Looking For Alaska'
"In the first couple years after publishing [Looking for Alaska], there were things I found discomforting about it — some of which I tried to address in Paper Towns," he said. "I think part of what people have responded to in the book is the nakedness of it, the lack of artifice and all that stuff. I don't really know why that book in particular has meant so much to some of its readers, but I'm grateful. My goal in 2005 for Alaska was for it to be in print long enough to make it to a paperback edition. I never imagined that thirteen years later, it would still be finding a wide readership. So I guess how I feel about it is, like, baffled and grateful and slightly embarrassed."
He Never Wanted Alaska To Be A Manic Pixie Dream Girl
"Do I ever worry an adaptation will go completely against what I was trying to get across? Yes, of course — and that's especially challenging here, because I was trying to write in Alaska about the way that Pudge's romanticization of Alaska was so horrifically destructive and I wanted the story to be about the dangers of idealization/romanticization of those you claim to love, but it's easy to fall instead into the standard story of a boy learning lessons from an enigmatic girl. (Basically, I never wanted it to be a story of Pudge learning important lessons from Alaska. I wanted it to be a story of Pudge having to grapple with his real negligence toward his friend and its real consequences.)
"I don't know if the show will accomplish that — I don't even know if the book accomplished it. I do know that the book means different things to different people of course, and the show will, too. All I can say to you is that the book is the book, and the book you have in that fireproof lockbox is not going to change because someone who isn't you told their version of the story in a different medium. Or at least I hope it won't!"
He Isn't Involved With Casting Hulu's 'Looking For Alaska' Adaptation
"I know it is hard to believe this, but I really and genuinely have absolutely no knowledge of anything related to casting and probably will find out about who gets cast only moments before you do."
He Isn't Interested In Making 'An Abundance Of Katherines' Into A Movie
He said: "I have those rights and won't be selling them, so the chances are not good.
"(Why? Mostly because I don't think it would be a good movie or TV show or whatever. I like it okay as a book, but I want it to stay a book.)"
He's Excited To See One 'Looking For Alaska' Scene In Particular On Screen
"One of the weirder things about this process over the last couple months is that by now, everyone working on the series knows the book much better than I do. I haven't read it in more than thirteen years. So there's a lot I don't remember!
"I think — although I might be wrong about this — there is one scene toward the end of the book where the Colonel goes on a long cold walk and then returns and Pudge is in one bunk bed and the Colonel is in the other and they're talking . . . when I was writing, that was one of the few scenes I could really see in my mind. So I think that would be cool to see on screen. But who knows!"