Teen romance/drama The Fault in Our Stars was a critical/commercial success last year, paving the way for additional film adaptations of author John Green's novels. The next one in line? Paper Towns, a movie based on Green's best-selling, award-winning, 2008 book of the same name. Headlining Paper Towns, as it were, is Fault in Our Stars costar Nat Wolff, along with Cara Delevingne (Anna Karenina (2012)).
Paper Towns tells the tale of Quentin Jacobsen (Wolff), a high schooler infatuated with his neighbor, Margo Roth Spiegelman (Delevingne): a teenager whom Quentin shares a history with, though the pair barely acknowledge one another nowadays. One night, though, out of the blue, Margo asks Quentin to help her on a special mission: taking revenge on her cheating ex-boyfriend. Just as enigmatically, Margo then goes missing the next day, leaving behind nothing but a trail of cryptic clues that Quentin and his friends set out to decipher.
The Paper Towns trailer, similar to the marketing for Fault in Our Stars, plays up the quirky humor and the wide-eyed teenage romance of the film; at the same time, just alluding to the more poignant subject matter that will be explored over the course of the movie. Margo, for example, may come across to some as a variation on what is generally known as the Manic Pixie Dream Girl archetype, as presented in the Paper Towns trailer. However, Green has described his novel (and, by association, the film based on his book) as a condemnation of that very trope.
Papers Towns was scripted by writing duo Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber. The duo previously explored concepts and themes similar to those featured here, with their screenplay for The Fault in Our Stars, as well as the script work on The Spectacular Now. Of course, Neustadter and Weber broke out with their script for (500) Days of Summer: a project that, like Paper Towns, either relies on or deconstructs the MPDG trope, depending on who you ask.
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Direction on Paper Towns was handled by Jake Schreier: the filmmaker who made his name with offbeat sci-fi comedy/drama Robot and Frank (a critical favorite released back in 2012). Schreier reads as being a good match to handle Paper Town's blend of whimsy and serious drama, as do the film's screenwriters - having now honed their craft over the course of multiple romantic teen dramedies intended for Generation Z.
The young supporting cast for Paper Towns includes Austin Abrams (recently seen on The Walking Dead), Halston Sage (Crisis), and Justice Smith (The Thundermans). Delevingne may soon be the most famous of the bunch; in addition to her role in Paper Towns, she's playing a supporting role in Joe Wright's Pan this summer and will thereafter portray Enchantress in David Ayer's DC comic book adaptation Suicide Squad in 2016.
Paper Towns opens in U.S. theaters on July 24th, 2015.
Source: 20th Century Fox