Nerdfighters await more Green on the big screen

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After watching The Fault in Our Stars this summer, junior Rosemarie Fettig is optimistic about the success of future John Green movies.

By Kim Rooney, Production Editor

After The Fault in Our Stars grossed over $48 million in the box office its opening weekend, two more John Green novels, Paper Towns and Looking for Alaska, began their journeys from award-winning books to film adaptations.

While Paper Towns’ film rights were optioned in 2010 and Looking for Alaska’s were purchased in 2005, neither project came to immediate fruition. However, Paper Towns’ rights were acquired on May 24 by Fox 2000, and John Green announced on June 25 that actress and director Sarah Polley would be writing and directing Looking for Alaska.

“I have high hopes for the others,” junior Rosemarie Fettig, who has read all of Green’s books, said. “My expectations weren’t that high for The Fault in Our Stars because I’ve seen a lot of great books get ruined, but I’m more optimistic now.

John Green’s notoriety as half of the Vlogbrothers, a famous Youtube channel that created the group of Internet followers dubbed “the Nerdfighters,” contributed to his enormous popularity. Across the world, Nerdfighters are reading Green’s books and recommending them to friends.

“My friends told me about them,” said senior Danny Espinoza, who has read four of Green’s books. “I read The Fault in Our Stars first and thought it was alright. Not going to lie, it made me cry, but other than that, it was boring. I read the others because everyone was raving about them.”

While John Green is known for his writing and has won awards such as the 2009 Edgar Award for Best Young Adult Mystery (Paper Towns) and the 2006 Michael L. Printz Award (Looking for Alaska), some dislike his writing style.

“Everything is so formulaic and bland, and all the characters are so annoying,” Espinoza said. “They are all about a quiet guy who falls in love with a ‘misunderstood’ girl who in reality is just dealing with hormones.”

However, fans of the novels stand to disagree, finding accurate portrayals of teenagers and compelling plots in Green’s work.

“He has an easy and relaxed style that’s easy to follow and relate to because you can understand why characters do the things they do and say the things they say,” Fettig said.

Green’s writing may have its strengths and weaknesses, as can be expected from any author, but fans of his novels find that these flaws only showcase Green’s strength as a writer.

“Sometimes certain characters are too pretentious or have an overabundance of a certain character trait, and some people say that’s unrealistic,” Fettig said. “But if you look at it through the narrator’s point of view, those things would be magnified.”

With Paper Towns’ release date scheduled for July 31, 2015 and Looking for Alaska’s unannounced, fans are left to speculate based on The Fault in Our Stars film adaptation.

“I’m a little worried that they’ll turn Looking for Alaska into a cutesy teen romance because it’s really not,” Fettig said. “They were able to do that for The Fault in Our Stars because it’s more about the romance, but for Paper Towns and Looking for Alaska, it’s more about what’s happening in the people’s lives.”

Casting is still undecided for Looking for Alaska, but Green tweeted on Sept. 4 that Nat Wolff, who stared as Isaac in The Fault in Our Stars and other movies such as Stuck in Love and Palo Alto, will be starring as Paper Towns protagonist, Q.

“I think it’s awesome,” senior Neil Luo said. “Heard about it a few days ago from John’s Facebook, and I was super stoked.”