‘Looking for Alaska’ Will Be Faithful to the Books, But With Less ‘Male Gaze’

Looking for Alaska is coming to Hulu — but it’s been a long road.

Executive producer Josh Schwartz stopped by the Television Critics Association press tour in Los Angeles to talk about the difficult process of bringing the classic John Green novel to the screen.

“We’ve all been waiting a while for this,” Josh said. “I was sent the book 14 years ago when it was an unpublished manuscript by a then, unknown, author named John Green and immediately fell in love with it. I had to do it. Even though it was based on John’s experience, it resonated with me. It’s been a journey, I started writing it as a feature at Paramount, there were many different drafts for many different executives. I felt it was never going to get made. They almost made it without me, but I couldn’t move on so when the opportunity came to revisit it as a limited series, I approached John, who was frustrated by the feature experience, but the limited series can offer audiences a more immersive experience, where you spend eight hours with these characters rather than two hours.”

The story, about a teenage boy who enrolls at a new boarding school and falls for a girl named Alaska, only to have his world rocked by a tragedy, will be faithful to the book, but with less male gaze.

“We’re incredibly faithful to the material but we’ve also taken great efforts to go further and deeper,” Josh added. “For fans of the book, they will feel we’ve really honored the material. The book is really about the limited male gaze and we wanted to make sure that Alaska exists in her own right. The audience will have understanding of her character and she won’t exist only as a mystery, hopefully that will go some way to remedy that.”

Watch the first Looking for Alaska/em> teaser trailer here!

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