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Movies on Max: TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN

by Jef Dinsmore
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Movies_TurtlesAllTheWayDownWe are just getting around to noting that another fresh movie has made it to Max, but this one is a complete surprise to us. The work is from New Line Cinema, a division of WBD called TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN. Some might recognize it as it shares the title of the novel by John Green. He also wrote The Fault In Our Stars. Our surprise is due to the fact that this is not a Warner Brothers or even an A24 title that saw a theatrical run but a film with a direct debut on the Max streamer. 

Why the surprise, you ask? Because WBD CEO David Zaslav had made it clear in the early days of the streaming site that there would be no direct-to-streaming release of movies. To maximize monetization a movie would need a healthy window at the box office first. Also, in his eyes, if a movie was not strong enough for theatrical release then maybe it shouldn’t get seen at all. The controversial flap over that move and the tax-writeoff excuse has already killed the chance of the films Scoob 2, Batgirl, and Coyote vs Acme from ever getting seen. So why has Turtles All The Way Down been given a Max debut?  

I’m guessing the answer lies with the fact that the movie, directed by Hannah Marks (Don’t Make Me Go) was intended for theatrical release but never could a window to be released. The project began development at Fox 2000 Pictures in December 2017, with Elisabeth Berger and Isaac Aptaker announced as screenwriters and Marks set to direct it in January 2019. Because The Walt Disney Company acquired 21st Century Fox, the parent company of Fox 2000 Pictures, Disney closed Fox 2000 and put the project into turnaround, until it was eventually acquired by New Line Cinema. Once it was ready for viewers it was decided to place it at HBO Max, which had not at that time killed the idea of launching film debuts. Once the streamer morphed into Max, the work was still sitting on the shelf and finally was granted a debut date on Max for Thursday, May 2, 2024. It took seven years for the film to get before an audience. 

Isabela Merced, a former Nickelodeon star, stars as Aza Holmes in this YA romantic drama but will also be seen next year as the character of Dina in THE LAST OF US Season Two. The story centers on 16-year-old Aza Holmes, an American high school student with OCD and anxiety. She is grieving over the loss of her father while a budding relationship grows between her and a fugitive billionaire’s son Davis and with her best friend, Daisy. Aza’s BFF is played by Cree Cicchino, another former Nickelodeon star, and her male interest is played by Felix Mallard of Netflix’s Ginny & Georgia. Notable actress Poorna Jagannathan of HBO’s THE NIGHT OF plays Dr. Singh.

RT sums up the tale as follows –

Movies_TurtlesAllTheWayDown-RT
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