Everything we know about Hulu’s ‘Looking for Alaska’
Tumblr girls old and new: get ready. John Green’s first novel Looking for Alaska is coming to Hulu this fall. The award-winning book is recognized for its consistent appearance on the American Library Association’s Most Challenged Books list each year, so you know the show will be scandalous.
Since the book was published in 2005, the film rights for the film have been in production hell, Paramount having shelved several attempts to get the film off the ground. But after the adaptations of Green’s other books The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns, Paramount brought the film out of retirement and tried to get another production off the ground – but inevitably shelved the project again.
In 2018, it was announced that Hulu was working with Paramount Television on an eight-part miniseries. This adaptation is definitively greenlit now that promotional images and a teaser trailer have dropped for its October 18th release.
The novel Looking for Alaska, based on Green’s experiences in boarding school as a teen, focuses on Miles “Pudge” Halter. The boy switches attendance to a boarding school in order to “seek a great perhaps”, where he meets a group of loyal friends and falls in love with a girl named Alaska Young. The group faces tragedy and mischief in the search for greater meaning in life.
Whether this will end up on the better or worse side of YA adaptations is unclear. Green is famous for his brand of manic pixie dreamgirl characters, and Alaska is no exception. However, Looking for Alaska does take an honest look at trying to find your purpose in the world at a young age, something a lot of teens struggle with. At the least, we can expect a killer indie soundtrack.
After 13 years of development hell, a lot about Looking for Alaska has dropped already. We’ve scrounged up the important details you need to know before tuning in this October.
John Green tweeted out the reveal of Miles & Alaska on October 30, 2018, to his fans so that they would hear from him first about who would play the beloved characters. Miles will be played by Charlie Plummer (Boardwalk Empire) and Alaska by Kristine Froseth (The Society, Sierra Burgess is A Loser). Green also took the two actors to his old boarding school to help them understand the origins of the novel.
Rounding out the gang is Denny Love as Chip Martin, Jay Lee as Takumi, and Sofia Vasilieva as Lara Buterskaya. Both Ron Cephas Jones & Timothy Simmons have been announced to star in unnamed roles. One of the two will most likely appear as Mr. Starnes, Dean of Students at the boarding school whom the gang pranks multiple times throughout the novel.
The eight-episode miniseries is meant to be a direct adaptation of the novel. The novel focuses on Miles’s desire to find meaning in life, so he transfers from his Florida high school to the fictional Culver Creek Prep School in Alabama (based on the Indian Springs School in Alabama, where Green attended). Miles quickly becomes friends with his roommate Chip and meets Takumi and Alaska, two of Chip’s friends.
The four become involved in a prank war with a rival school while going on various mischievous adventures. When tragedy strikes the group, Miles and his friends search for the truth and learn how to let go of the past.
The book and its scandalous history
Looking for Alaska explores themes of grief, acceptance, a search for meaning, and more traditional coming-of-age themes. The novel also contains extensive depictions of underage smoking, sex, and suicide, which led many school districts to challenge the book’s presence in their libraries. If the miniseries stays true to the book, these themes will be explored over the eight episodes as well.
Good news for those who like to bingewatch: all eight episodes of Looking for Alaska will drop on October 18th. Hulu likely figured viewers would be impatient if they had to wait each Friday for a new episode when they already knew what would happen.