‘Josh Schwartz’s 13-year journey to bring to the screen John Green’s best-selling novel Looking For Alaska has come to a successful conclusion. Hulu is finalizing a deal for an eight-episode limited series from Paramount Television and Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage’s Fake Empire.
Schwartz wrote the pilot for the project, which garnered interest from multiple buyers, and will serve as executive producer and showrunner. Savage executive produces with Green, Jessica Tuchinsky, Mark Waters and Marty Bowen of Temple Hill. Fake Empire exec Lis Rowinski will co-executive produce.
Looking for Alaska thrusts us into the perspective of Miles “Pudge” Halter who is done with his safe life at home. His whole life has been one big non-event, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave “the Great Perhaps” even more (Francois Rabelais, poet). He heads off to the sometimes crazy and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young. She is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart. Then. . . After. Nothing is ever the same.
The project subsequently went through a number of incarnations with different writers and directors and languished for years until Schwartz re-approached Green and the producers on the film with the idea of making it into a limited series.
Once Green was on board, Paramount TV president Amy Powell was instrumental in getting the rights from the feature division, paving the way to the series, exec produced by Waters, Tuchinsky and Bowen who had been attached to the project when it was a feature, along with Bowen’s longtime Temple Hill partner Wyck Godfrey, now president of Paramount’s Motion Picture Group.
Looking For Alaska was published in 2005 but it wasn’t until 2012—seven years later and the year Green’s sixth novel, The Fault in Our Stars, was released—that his debut novel first cracked the New York Times Best Seller list, where it remained for many years, including 18 weeks at #4 of the Young Adult Paperback list. Green was awarded the American Library Association’s Michael L. Printz Award for Looking for Alaska, which PBS recently included in its Greatest American Read – 100 Most Beloved Books.’