Isabela Merced To Star In Adaptation Of John Green Novel ‘Turtles All The Way Down’

The latest screen adaptation of a John Green book is in the works. Green’s latest novel, Turtles All The Way Down, will be turned into a film for HBO Max and has tapped Isabela Merced (Dora and the Lost City of Gold) to star.

Merced will play Aza Holmes, a teen with OCD navigating an endless barrage of invasive, obsessive thoughts that she cannot control. After reconnecting with her childhood crush, she must reconsider her position on love, friendship, hope, and happiness in the face of her mental illness. The way the book tackles anxiety and mental illness is extremely relatable.

Hannah Marks will direct the film. She recently wrote and directed cool indie romcom Mark, Mary & Some Other People, which was about ethic non-monogamy.

Turtles All The Way Down will be written by Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger, who previously wrote Love, Simon together – another popular YA adaptation. They also co-ran popular series This Is Us.

Green has had various books debut at number one on The New York Times Bestseller list, and is also an accomplished YouTuber alongside his brother Hank. This is not the first time his books have been adapted for the screen, as we’ve already seen the hugely successful film adaptation of The Fault In Our Stars in 2014, which was followed by Paper Towns a year later.

In 2019, his novel Looking For Alaska was turned into a miniseries for Hulu, and that same year Netflix released holiday film Let It Snow – which also starred Merced – based on a collection of short stories Green contributed to. Not only do his books sell well and get good reviews, but their adaptations usually work out too, so this move by HBO looks like a smart one.

Outside of the Dora role, Merced has also appeared in films such as Sicario: Day Of The Soldado, Instant Family, and Sweet Girl.

She recently wrapped filming on Hulu film Rosaline, which is a modern day romcom reimagining of Romeo And Juliet, while she will also be seen in the upcoming Latin remake of Father Of The Bride.


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