Casting Call: Looking for Alaska

Published July 11, 2014

In which we suggest who should star in the next big adaptation, remake, or historical film.

On the crest of the John Green frenzy surrounding recent tearjerker The Fault in Our Stars are rumors that Canadian actress and director Sarah Polley will helm the next Green adaptation, that of his debut novel Looking for Alaska. As with his later work, Green deftly treats teen and high school issues without pandering to his audience.

Like The Fault in Our Stars, Looking for Alaska treats the romance that almost was. Miles Halter is an 11th-grade Floridian who arrives at Culver Creek Preparatory High School in Alabama to finish off his junior and senior years. Miles is fascinated with the last words of famous figures, in particular those of François Rabelais  (“I go to seek the great perhaps”) and Simón Bolívar (“Damn it. How will I ever get out of this labyrinth?”).  He encounters a limited cast of characters: his roommate, Chip Martin, who ironically nicknames him “Pudge” for his lanky stature; his friends, Takumi Hikohito and Lara Buterskaya; and the titular character Alaska Young. Miles quickly becomes infatuated with Alaska, the precocious, beautiful young woman who acts as confidante and booze supplier to her closest friends. The novel is darkly honest and ripe with cinematic moments. The central tragedy of the novel allows the characters to explore life, death, and friendship on an individual level. And it’s a tearjerker, to be sure.

Though Paramount optioned the film in 2005, few moves have been made since then to make Looking For Alaska a reality. Now, with Polley possibly on board, it seems as though the film could becomes a reality. We’ve got a few suggestions the studio should keep in mind when picking young talent to bring Green’s novel to life.

Casting Call runs every Friday. For more, click here.