John Green's Looking For Alaska, his first novel and arguably his most beloved, has been stuck in development limbo over at Paramount Pictures for over 10 years, and now there's even more drama that might delay the big screen adaptation even further. (Full Disclosure: MTV and Paramount Pictures are both owned by Viacom.)
On February 18, the best-selling author took to Twitter to express his frustrations with the studio and their handling of the Looking For Alaska film. In a series of now-deleted tweets, he claims that the studio won't even return his calls.
"I don't think they like me," he tweeted. "The feeling is profoundly mutual. So I can't even get someone to answer the telephone, let alone cast a movie."
This is devastating news, especially after Looking For Alaska seemed to be making so much progress. The success of Green's first book-to-movie adaptation, The Fault In Our Stars, seemed to have breathed new life into Alaska. Finally, it looked like Miles "Pudge" Halter's coming-of-age tale was headed to the big screen.
Last February, the writing duo behind TFIOS and Paper Towns -- Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber -- reportedly teamed up once again to pen the screenplay for Looking For Alaska. Then, in June, Green announced that Rebecca Thomas had signed on to direct the feature.
However, late last year production was delayed because of casting woes. The studio was reportedly having trouble finding its Alaska. Things went from bad to worse when Green announced that he was "not involved in the project in any way" in a January Vlogbrothers update. "I'm not going to lie," he said, "It definitely bums me out."
It bums us out, too. Alaska is a special book. It doesn't sugarcoat death; instead, it asks questions, as we all do. Death is confusing and awful and horrible and painful, but mostly, it just leaves us wanting to know more -- and in some cases, why. While Looking For Alaska doesn’t have all the answers, in a way, that's the most perfect ending of them all.
Hopefully, Paramount and Green can find a way to work together because imagining this movie without Green's involvement is like trying to picture Pudge without the Colonel -- it just doesn't work.