Isabela Merced as Aza Holmes in Turtles All the Way Down
Isabela Merced as Aza Holmes and Felix Mallard as Davis Pickett in Turtles All the Way Down

Max Drops the First Trailer for the Long-Awaited ‘Turtles All the Way Down’ Adaptation

The long-awaited adaptation of John Green‘s Turtles All the Way Down is finally becoming a reality as Max recently dropped its official release date and trailer.

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Turtles All the Way Down has actually been in development for close to seven years. It’s no surprise that Fox 2000 quickly nabbed the film rights, optioning the book just months after its release, given the novel’s huge success. The book debuted at number 1 on The New York Times Best Sellers list for YA books and received high praise from critics for raising mental health awareness and providing an accurate depiction of what it’s like living with OCD and anxiety.

Unfortunately, production was delayed when Fox 2000 Pictures was acquired by Disney. The film spent several years switching studios before finally landing at New Line Cinema and Max in 2022. Although this development allowed production to commence, fans were concerned when updates trailed off for over a year after filming wrapped in June 2022. Fortunately, Green recently shared some exciting news, providing a final confirmation that Turtles All the Way Down was definitely still happening and had found a home on Max.

Max drops the first official trailer for Turtles All the Way Down

Max recently dropped the first trailer for Turtles All the Way Down and confirmed the movie will be available for streaming on May 2.

The trailer confirms that the movie will dive deep into the realities of living with OCD as the clip explores the mind of Aza Holmes (Isabela Merced). Her mind is constantly working and often drifts to the microbes, parasites, and potential infections lurking in every corner. Meanwhile, she struggles with believing she’ll never find love or lead a fulfilling life despite those around her assuring her she will. As the trailer continues, viewers see her slowly opening herself to love. While there is evidence it will not be an easy journey for her, there are also hints that she’ll get through the challenges and learn to embrace life regardless of how scary it might be.

However, readers will notice that the mystery at the center of the book is not mentioned in the trailer. Perhaps the movie is trying to surprise non-readers or simply chose to make the mystery a secondary story.

Max drops the first look images for Turtles All the Way Down

Before the trailer premiered, Green took to Instagram to share some big news about Turtles All the Way Down. In a short video, he admits that he had doubts about whether the movie would actually be released despite being completed. However, he had final confirmation that the movie was, indeed, happening

Shortly after Green’s announcement, Max released the first-look photos of Turtles All the Way Down. The three images show Isabela Merced, Cree, and Felix Mallard in character for the first time. One image teases a kiss between Merced’s and Felix’s characters, another is a closeup of Merced, and the final one sees Merced and Cree posing in front of a mirror.

  • Isabela Merced as Aza Holmes and Felix Mallard as Davis Pickett in Turtles All the Way Down
  • Isabela Merced as Aza Holmes in Turtles All the Way Down
  • Isabela Merced as Aza Holmes and Cree as Daisy Ramirez looking in a mirror in Turtles All the Way Down

Merced is slated to lead the film as the main protagonist, Aza Holmes. Turtles All the Way Down will mark her third major movie release in 2024, as she is also set to star in Madame Web and Alien: Romulus. Starring opposite Merced is Ginny & Georgia star Felix Mallard as Aza’s love interest, Davis Pickett. Meanwhile, Cree and Maliq Johnson will appear as Daisy Ramirez and Mychal Turner, respectively, Aza’s best friends. Scrubs star Judy Reyes has been tapped to portray Aza’s mom, Gina, while Miles Ekhardt portrays Davis’ little brother, Noah. Rounding out the cast are Poorna Jagannathan as Dr. Singh, J. Smith-Cameron as Professor Abbott, and Hannah Marks as Holly.

Plotwise, Turtles All the Way Down is expected to follow Green’s book quite closely. The story centers on Aza, a high school student with OCD and anxiety, who tries to find a missing billionaire to secure a handsome cash reward. However, the mission leads her to the billionaire’s son, Davis, with whom she soon starts a romantic relationship while still probing the mystery of his father’s disappearance. The romance, though, leads her to question if she truly can live a fulfilling life with meaningful relationships while managing her OCD.

Green’s book was a delicate, hopeful, and, at times, gut-wrenching depiction of what it’s like living with mental health disorders and learning to manage them effectively. If Turtles All the Way Down proves to be a faithful adaptation, it could provide meaningful representation for those who see themselves reflected in Aza.

(featured image: Max)

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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.