Paramount Pictures is in talks with actress-filmmaker Sarah Polley to adapt Looking For Alaska, the debut novel by The Fault In Our Stars author John Green. The book has become a big priority at the studio since the sleeper success of The Fault In Our Stars, which just passed the $100 million gross mark on a $12 million budget. The film will be produced by Mark Waters and Jessica Tuchinsky through their Watermark Pictures banner.
The novel is where Green first honed his talent for serving up serious subject matter to which young readers strongly relate. The protagonist is 16-year-old Miles Halter, who, after an antiseptic adolescence in Florida, moves to a boarding school in Alabama and learns coming-of-age lessons from his roommate and his beautiful and mysterious best friend, Alaska Young. She enthralls Miles with stories of adventurous and self-destructive behavior — and teaches him to drink, smoke, and plot elaborate pranks against the school’s rich preppies — but despite their adulation for her, they can tell that she is unhappy and perhaps headed for big trouble.
Polley, who directed Away From Her and the personal docu Stories We Tell, pitched a strong take on the material, and that has led to the job of writing the script. There will be a conversation about directing, but that will come down the line. Polley was Oscar-nominated for her Away From Her script, and directed Take This Waltz. Writing and directing has taken center stage, after distinguishing herself starring in such films as Dawn Of The Dead, Go, and The Sweet Hereafter. She’s repped by WME, Canada-based Gary Goddard Agency, Circle Of Confusion and Alan Wertheimer.