The red carpet for the Monday night New York premiere of Fox’s “Paper Towns” featured more screaming than a Taylor Swift concert. Teenage fans of John Green’s book had lined up at AMC Loews Lincoln Square starting at 6 a.m. to get a glimpse of the film’s stars, or possibly be awarded with a ticket to the movie (roughly 150 of the early risers were let inside).
“I read the book of ‘Paper Towns’ when I was on the set of ‘The Fault in Our Stars,’ and I had a lot of time on my hands, while Hazel and Gus were falling in love, being blind all day,” said Nat Wolff, who had the role of Quentin offered to him before there was a script or director attached. “It was my favorite of all of John’s books. And then they called me a couple months later and said, ‘Hey, do you want to play the lead?’ I said yes before there was anything. It was exciting to be involved early on.”
The former Nickelodeon star said that he isn’t bothered by his new groupies (who stood behind barricades with signs that read “Get Lost” or “Get Found,” catch phrases from the film’s poster). “The weird thing about John Green fans, they are so respectful and intelligent,” Wolff said. “They are more mature than I am. They just have smart things to say to me, and they are very calm. When I was getting recognized at 12 or 13, it was crazy energy,” explained Wolff as he hid behind a curtain in the theater’s lobby.
Wolff addressed rumors that he was in the running to play “Spider-Man” in Sony’s new reboot before Tom Holland was cast. He said he was never asked to wear the web-slinger’s costume in a test reading. “I didn’t audition,” Wolff said. “It just got reported a lot. My little cousin was the one who told me about that.”
The film, which was directed by Jake Schreier, was written by “Fault’s” screenwriting duo of Michael H. Weber and Scott Neustadter in just one month. “This is the most difficult adaptation that we ever worked on,” Weber said. “The book is very complex.” He said the casting of Wolff made it easier for him. “When Fox said they’re building this movie around Nat, we were like, ‘We’re in.’ We love Nat. There’s nothing he can’t do.”
Except for Spider-Man?
“He could have been an amazing Spider-Man,” said Neustadter.
“You know what that means? We have another opportunity to write another movie with Nat,” said Weber.
Added Neustadter: “We’ll go see ‘Spider-Man’ with Nat and talk about how much better it would have been with Nat in it.”
At the after-party at STW Midtown, Cara Delevingne danced with friends at a table in the back (with her girlfriend St. Vincent nearby), while model Karlie Kloss took selfies. “Paper Towns” opens on July 24.