'Fault' Author John Green's Other Books Still Available for Movie Versions
This story first appeared in the June 27 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
For those studio executives who passed on John Green's The Fault in Our Stars for being commercially unfeasible, here's your do-over. Three of the author's five other books are up for grabs. But given Fault's box-office feat -- $122 million worldwide in its first 10 days -- there will be plenty of competition.
"I don't think it would surprise anyone that we're getting a multitude of calls about all things John Green," says Green's literary agent Jodi Reamer at Writers House. UTA's Kassie Evashevski, who handles screen rights for Green titles, adds that after years of mild interest, the appetite for Green, 36, suddenly is voracious, spanning both film and television. "I'm thrilled the market has finally caught up with him," says Evashevski. "He's been writing great books for nine years."
Here's the status of the YA wunderkind's five titles:
An Abundance of Katherines (2006)
This novel originally was optioned by the small production company East of Doheny (best known for documentaries). Rights lapsed, and the novel now is in play. If Fault's teen protagonist who wears a cannula for the entire movie made executives nervous, the Abundance leads might be an even tougher Hollywood sell: A depressed, anagram-loving 17-year-old boy and his best friend, a lazy, obese, Judge Judy-obsessed Muslim.
Let It Snow (2008)
Green penned one of three intertwining stories that make up this compilation novel (Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle wrote the others). Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage's Fake Empire (Fun Size) optioned the book when they had a first-look deal at Paramount. But the studio let the rights lapse. Seen as perhaps the most commercial of the five, the book is being pitched as Love Actually for teens during Christmastime.
Looking for Alaska (2005)
Paramount scooped up Green's first book years ago and set Schwartz to write and direct the prep-school-set tale. Green loves the screenplay but said in 2013 that "there was no enthusiasm for that kind of movie at Paramount." Given Fault's success, Paramount now is gung ho and is looking for a new writer and director (sources say Schwartz won't direct because he left the studio in May for a deal at Universal).
Paper Towns (2008)
The story of a boy and girl who stumble upon a suicide victim originally was optioned by Mandate Pictures (now Good Universe), the company behind Juno. Green was hired to write the screenplay, which by his own admission he fumbled. (His reps say he has no interest in writing another script.) The project was put into turnaround and landed at Fault studio Fox 2000. Paper Towns could mark a Fault reunion, with screenwriters Michael H. Weber and Scott Neustadter, producers Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen and co-star Nat Wolff all on board. Fox 2000 is looking for a director.
Will Grayson, Will Grayson (2010)
Unlike the others, this novel (co-written with David Levithan) never has been optioned. It follows two characters with the same name, one with a best friend who is gay and obese. A producer once told Green, "The only thing Hollywood hates more than smart teenagers is smart, gay teenagers." But with Green, pretty much everything seems palatable now.