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Another John Green Book Hitting the Big Screen

John Green’s book Turtles All the Way Down is expected to hit the screens on Max in 2024.

Max Official Press Release

10 years after the hit movie The Fault In Our Stars came out, John Green is back with another movie adaptation for his new novel, Turtles All the Way Down.

Turtles All The Way Down

Published in 2017 by Dutton Books, Turtles All the Way Down is John Greens’ fifth solo book and seventh overall. The story follows Aza Holmes, a 16-year-old girl struggling with anxiety and OCD. While struggling to balance aspects of her life, a local billionaire has gone missing and Aza used to be friends with his son.

A Relatable Read

Not only does this book have a killer opening line, it has a killer ending. An opening line of a book is a good way to judge if a story is worth a read, it gives you a glimpse of the writing style and the story.

Personally, I find that books with a captivating beginning tend to stay captivating and this is definitely the case with this book!

“At the first time I realized I might be fictional, my weekdays were spent at a publically funded institution on the north side of Indianapolis called White River High School, where I was required to eat lunch at a particular time– 12:37pm. and 1:14p.m.– by forces so much greter than myself that I couldn’t begin to identify them.”

John Green, Turtles All the Way Down

Greens’ book does a great job of reaching his Gen Z audience. Books directed to young adults tend to be written by older adults who struggle to identify with their readership’s feelings. Sometimes, the feelings portrayed feel too mature for the audience.

Nonetheless, despite John Green not being a Gen Z himself, spending the majority of his career writing for and growing with them has impacted the way he writes.

Struggling with anxiety and OCD himself, Green also knew how to portray these issues accurately. He found a way to describe the struggles Aza was going through in descriptions and metaphors while keeping the heavy topic funny and relatable.

Turtles All the Way Down preview of Aza and Davis
Credit: Max Official Press Release

At the same time you’re experiencing the life of this 16-year-old girl, there’s the mystery of the missing billionaire. Richard Davis Pickett is a billionaire owner of a construction company has gone missing and has left his estate, a lizard, his fortune, and two sons behind.

This mystery plays a big part in getting the story going. As Aza and her best friend Daisy decide to give the challenge of finding him a go. Daisy reminds Aza that she once knew his son Davis when they were kids and both friends embark on their quest.

As a Movie

The book is expected to hit screens on Max in the spring of 2024. No official release date has been announced yet, but there are three snapshots of the movie. As we wait for a trailer any day now, occasional updates can be found on John Green’s TikTok.

The movie is being directed by Hannah Marks who is also an actress and writer. John Green is working on set as a producer.

Working closely with Green, there are high hopes about how close the movie will be to the book.

Turtles All the Way Down preview of Aza and Daisy
Credit: Max Official Press Release

As of right now, we don’t know much about the film but we are certain of the cast.

Isabela Merced, best known for Dora and the Lost City of Gold and recently Madame Web will be playing 17-year-old Aza. Playing Aza’s best friend Daisy is Cree Cicchino, who is known for playing Babe Carano on Nickelodeon Game Shakers. Playing Davis, the billionaire’s son (and Aza’s childhood friend), is Felix Mallard, best known for playing Marcus on Ginny & Georgia.

Coming from such a heartfelt story, the movie will most likely be a tear-jerker, in true John Green fashion.

Honestly, I’ve never cried about a book the way I have cried for this one. I’ve re-read this book at different points in my life, and it took me different amounts of time to finish it. For example, the first time I finished it in one sitting, however, the last time I read it, aware of how this book and aware of wanting to savour it, it took me a week.

What does Turtles All the Way Down mean?

In a video interview for Parade Magazine, Green describes the phrase as meaning “we are infinite”. There is no beginning or end to the possibilities. There just is. The phrase comes from a story.

Brandon Monk for Medium has explained the story as follows: “A scientist gives a lecture about the Earth’s position in the universe. An elderly woman in the audience argues that the Earth is actually supported on the back of a giant turtle. When asked what the turtle is standing on, she replies that it is another turtle. When pressed further, she insists that it’s ‘turtles all the way down'”.

Green references this same story in the book. He relates it to Aza’s anxiety and how, for her, it’s a never-ending gyre.

In the same interview for Parade Magazine, Director Hannah Marks expands on his thoughts by saying the expression also means having doubts. At times, Aza doubts she is even real and that having doubts makes us human. So to Aza, “turtles all the way down” suggests to her that although her anxiety makes her feel fictional, in reality, it is part of what makes her human.

Other John Green Adaptions

This isn’t the first go-around John Green has had in the film industry. The Fault In Our Stars, Looking for Alaska, Let it Snow, and Paper Towns are all examples of other John Green books that have been adapted.


Six or seven this week. This TikTok was directed by @Hannah Marks688, who incidentally is also directing the movie. Costarring @lalaquix #turtlesallthewaydown

♬ original sound – John Green

The most successful of John Green’s adaptions, The Fault in Our Stars was published in 2012 and made into an extremely successful movie in 2014. Looking for Alaska published in 2005 became a Hulu show in 2019. Let it Snow (2019) is based on the book Let it Snow: Three Holiday Romances (2008) written by Green, Lauren Myracle, and Maureen Johnson. Paper Towns (2015), based on the book with the same title, was also released in 2008.

Prepare to have a tissue box nearby when Turtles All the Way Down hits a screen near you.

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Ileana (she/her) is in her final year of working on her Journalism degree at College of Southern Nevada. Ileana has previous experience writing album reviews in her high school paper. When she's not listening to music, you're bound to find her deep into a book.

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