“Transformers: Age of Extinction” star Nicola Peltz and “Mad Max: Fury Road” actress Courtney Eaton are testing for the coveted title role in Paramount’s adaptation of John Green’s “Looking for Alaska,” while John D’Leo (“Unbroken”) and Logan Miller are being eyed to play Colonel in the film, TheWrap has learned.
Peltz and Eaton join “The Witch” breakout Anya Taylor-Joy and model Imogen Waterhouse (“The Last Photograph”) on the shortlist to play mysterious boarding school student Alaska Young, who beguiles a new classmate names Miles.
Spider-Man finalist and former “Red Band Society” star Charlie Rowe and up-and-comer Mitchell Hope (Disney Channel’s “Descendants”) are the top contenders to play Miles.
Insiders suggest that Rowe and Taylor-Joy are the current frontrunners to play Miles and Alaska, though anything could happen once director Rebecca Thomas, producer Wyck Godfrey and Paramount executives review chemistry tests that will pair different actors together.
Another industry observer told TheWrap that Peltz is Paramount’s most likely choice given her “Transformers” history with the studio, though Thomas is open to a discovery like Taylor-Joy. Either way, the three main roles will likely be filled by a combination of the young actors listed above.
Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber adapted “Looking for Alaska” after tackling Green’s later novels “The Fault in Our Stars” and “Paper Towns.” Paramount has high hopes for “Alaska,” as “Fault” grossed more than $300 million and “Paper Towns” has already doubled its $12 million production budget after one weekend in release.
Peltz is a rising star who played Mark Wahlberg’s daughter in Paramount’s most recent “Transformers” movie, while Eaton is an Australian actress who played one of Immortan Joe’s five wives in “Mad Max: Fury Road.” She also co-stars in Alex Proyas’ big-budget fantasy film “Gods of Egypt.”
D’Leo recently played the young Leo Zamperini’s brother, Pete, in Angelina Jolie’s “Unbroken,” and he also played Robert De Niro’s son in Luc Besson’s “The Family.”
Miller currently be seen in “The Stanford Prison Experiment” and next stars in Paramount’s “Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse.” He also starred in the Sundance drama “Take Me to the River.”
Paramount had no comment on the testing process for “Looking for Alaska.”