New Max movie based on a John Green novel gets its first trailer — and readers are impressed

Isabela Merced as Aza Holmes in Turtles All the Way Down coming to Max in May
(Image credit: Max)

Max, the streaming service formerly known as HBO Max, has premiered the debut trailer for its feature-film adaptation of John Green’s best-selling novel, “Turtles All the Way Down”. And the response from readers to this first look has been very positive. 

Based on Green’s 2017 book, “Turtles All the Way Down” is scheduled to release on Max on May 2. The teen flick is directed by Hannah Marks, who’s no stranger to direct-to-streaming movies having helmed 2022’s “Don’t Make Me Go” for Prime Video.  

The Max movie stars Isabela Merced in the lead role of Aza Holmes, with Cree playing Aza’s best friend Daisy and Felix Mallard along for the ride as love interest Davis Pickett. The cast list is rounded out by Scrubs alumni Judy Reyes as Aza’s protective mom. 

The movie’s first trailer plays its cards pretty close to its chest, giving away few plot details, but assuming it’s a faithful adaptation of the book, it will follow Aza, a teenager with severe anxiety disorder, as she attempts to navigate the rollercoaster ride of adolescence without letting her intrusive thoughts and crippling fears rule her life and ruin her chances of happiness. 

The novel also includes a hunt for a fugitive billionaire who goes missing in the wake of a criminal investigation, which we assume will also be a major part of the movie adaptation as well. Unless of course the movie’s screenwriters, Elizabeth Berger and Isaac Aptaker, have taken a big swing and significantly altered the source material.   

The initial response to this first trailer from book readers and John Green superfans appears to be particularly positive. While YouTube comments are not necessarily an entirely accurate gauge of a community’s overall thoughts, this first teaser has sparked plenty of positive sentiment with several commentators suggesting the trailer alone has brought them to tears. John Green has also commented on the YouTube upload through his “vlogbrothers” channel expressing his excitement.   

“Turtles All the Way Down” is not the first time that Green’s work has been adapted  either. His wildly popular book “The Fault in Our Stars” was turned into a theatrical release in 2014, and was followed by “Paper Towns” in 2015. The American author’s debut novel, “Looking for Alaska”, was adapted into a mini-series at Hulu in 2019. 

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Rory Mellon
Entertainment Editor (UK)

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.