‘Paper Towns’ Isn’t Just Another ‘Fault in Our Stars’

Author John Green scored a box office hit with last year’s big screen version of teen tearjerker, The Fault in Our Stars, and now, he has another sure-to-be popular YA film adaptation on the way. The highly anticipated first trailer for Paper Towns has just been released, and this time, fans can expect a more lighthearted take on young romance.

Directed by Jake Schreier, the upcoming film stars Nat Wolff as Quentin, an Orlando teenager with a longtime crush on the mysterious, cool girl next door, Margo (played by Cara Delevingne). One day, Margo recruits Quentin to help her with an all-night rampage of revenge pranks on people who have slighted her in the past. The next day, she suddenly disappears, leaving Quentin a series of clues that he must solve in an effort to try and find her.

The movie adaptation reunites much of the team who worked on 2014’s TFIOS. Screenwriters Michael H. Weber and Scott Neustadter returned to pen the script, while Green once again produced alongside Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen. Not to mention, star Wolff actually earned the part of Quentin after impressing in his supporting role as Isaac in TFIOS.

Still, that doesn’t mean that moviegoers should expect Paper Towns to be a TFIOS sequel, as Green himself is careful to point out. “Paper Towns is very different from Fault in Our Stars, in every possible way,” Green told USA Today. “Hollywood is so used to franchises. But this is not a series. It’s an unrelated story that’s beautiful and funny, and has a big heart.”

While both coming-of-age stories confront themes of love and friendship, Paper Towns will draw significantly fewer tears than TFIOS. Whereas the latter was a weepy drama with sporadic funny moments, the upcoming Paper Towns retains a sensitive tone but throws more comedy and mystery into the mix, as evidenced by the just-released trailer.

In the clip, the adventurous Margo recruits Quentin for a night of comedic revenge acts against classmates who have wronged her, including photographing her cheating ex-boyfriend running naked across a lawn, wrapping another former friend’s car in plastic wrap, and spray-painting the letter “M” on a wall as a signature. But even while pulling off these silly and lighthearted antics, there’s a serious and dark intensity brimming underneath the surface of Margo’s character. “It’s a paper town, paper houses with paper people,” she says in the trailer, “Everything’s uglier up close.”

While Paper Towns may have a more off-beat feel than TFIOS, the two do share one thing – Green’s loyal fanbase, known as Nerdfighters. The upcoming film’s trailer has sparked a fan frenzy on social media, just as the first look as TFIOS did last year. TFIOS set the bar for Green adaptations pretty high (becoming both a critical and commercial success and grossing more than $286 million worldwide), but judging by the strong reaction that Paper Towns is already generating, the author could soon have another hit film adaptation to add to his resume.

Paper Towns is scheduled to hit theaters on July 24.

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