Indianapolis author Green sells film rights to latest novel

December 6, 2017
John Green (Photo courtesy of Marina Waters)

John Green is once again teaming with movie studio Fox 2000 Pictures to produce what could be the third straight novel from the Indianapolis author to reach the big screen.

Fox 2000 has optioned his latest novel, “Turtles All the Way Down.” The option—which gives producers the rights to move forward on a project—comes as no surprise, given the seven weeks the novel has spent on the New York Times Bestseller List and the success of the 2015 film version of “The Fault in Our Stars,” which scored over $307 million at the box office.

Based on an earlier Green novel, the film “Paper Towns,” released a year later, landed a far more modest $85.5 million.

Fox 2000 signed a "first-look" producing deal with Green in 2015 that gives the studio first dibs whenever he releases a new book.

“Turtles,” published in October (see IBJ review), concerns Aza, a young girl with obsessive-compulsive disorder., who becomes wrapped up in a mystery—and romance—with a missing billionaire’s son.

Temple Hill, the production company behind the two previous Green adaptations along with the teen-centric “Twilight” and “Maze Runner” series, is once again leading the project, with Green attached as an executive producer.

Green made the announcement Tuesday in an “aggressively unscripted video” to his three million-plus YouTube subscribers.

“My books belong to me while I am working on them and then, when I am finished, they don’t,” he said. “While the book belongs to the reader, the author has to make a lot of decisions on behalf of the book, and that’s true even after the book is published.

“Today I get to announce that, working with the same studio and production company that made ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ and ‘Paper Towns,’ we’re gonna give it a try.”

Green acknowledged the challenge of making a film out of his latest book.

In “Turtles,” he said, “I wanted to give readers not only a sense of what OCD is like, but maybe at least a glimpse into what it is…which is a profoundly non-visual thing.”

The deal "doesn’t mean there will definitely be a movie, but it means that there might be one,” Green said. “So now’s the time to begin inundating me with casting suggestions.”

The 40-year-old author was joking with the reference to casting. His Twitter bio, in addition to crediting his novels and video blogs, states that he is “a person who does not cast movies.”

Green's books have been a hot commodity in the movie industry. In addition to the Fox 2000 deals, Green has agreements with Paramount Pictures for the rights to his 2005 book "Looking for Alaska" and with small production company East of Doheny for his 2006 novel "An Abundance of Katherines." Those two books have yet to be turned into films.


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