The Search for Theodore Finch

Grace Dearing ’17

From print to film, adapting novels to the big screen is nothing foreign to the media of 2015. It is most common to see this adaptation in young adult fiction novels (see John Green’s abundance of literature brought to life in theaters). The most recent adaptation announced that has the YA world jumping out of their skin in excitement is the adaptation of Jennifer Niven’s All the Bright Places.

All the Bright Places is Niven’s debut young adult novel and has been a success all over the world! Translated in 37 different countries, including Dutch, French, Swedish, and Italian, ATBP has taken a toll on thousands of readers from all parts of the globe. The complex plot, written in split points of view, deals with mental illness and traumatic pasts with a hint of romance.

Upon finishing the book, my first request of Niven was to bring the story to life through a movie as soon as possible. Needless to say I, along with so many other fans, was literally jumping up and down in joy when I found out Jennifer was starting the process of writing the screenplay for the adaptation.

My first question was, “Who is playing Finch and Violet?” After scrolling through extensive tweets and instagram posts from Jennifer herself, I learned that Elle Fanning is to be cast as the female lead, Violet Markey. Not familiar with Elle’s previous work in the movie industry, it’s very exciting to know that I am going to be able to watch her bring to life a character that is so special to me, without any preconceived notions of what kind of an actress she is.

But, my main question still remains, who is to play Finch? I know that whichever actor is cast to embody Theodore Finch will have a lot of pressure on him from fans to portray the character accurately. Theodore (often referred to as Finch) is a boy who struggles with bipolar disorder. Every week, Finch is a different person with a different wardrobe and different mannerisms.  Finch has captured the hearts of readers everywhere, changing their lives in indescribable ways. So, the actor that is given the honor to bring him to life will need to be able to portray all of these different character traits.

Along with the mental characteristics that the actor will need to convey to the audience, he will also need to fit the physical description of Finch. With his dark hair and deep blue eyes, Finch is seen as the mysterious boy that no one really knows anything about. Often writing songs about Violet and his outlook on the world, Finch uses his guitar to sort through the mess of his mind and this will be another key factor that actors will need to take into consideration when auditioning for such a dynamic role.

Jennifer has been asked multiple times who she envisioned as Finch while writing the book, and she has responded with actor Nicholas Hoult. However, seeing as it has been quite a while since first creating Finch in her mind, Jennifer feels he now may not be the best fit to represent the twisted, high school boy that exists in ATPB.


Deep blue eyes and mysterious smirk...perfect for Finch! Too bad Nicholas Hoult had to go through a little thing called growing up. *sighs*

Deep blue eyes, perfectly styled hair, and mysterious smirk…perfect for Finch! Too bad Nicholas Hoult had to go through a little thing called growing up. *sighs*

The search for Finch continues, and many fans have already taken to Twitter to give their suggestions on who they think would be the perfect fit for the role.

  1. Tim Borrmann


With his deep blue eyes and confident smirk Tim Borrman would be the perfect candidate to bring Finch to life!

With his deep blue eyes and confident smirk Tim Borrmann would be the perfect candidate to bring Finch to life!

2. Josh Cummins


Josh Cummins's messy hair and pierced ears would be perfect for Finch's 'badboy' phase!

Josh Cummins’s messy hair and pierced ears would be perfect for Finch’s ‘badboy’ phase!

3. Blake Stevens


Blake Stevens's crystal blue eyes perfectly match the description of Finch given in Niven's book!

Blake Stevens’s crystal blue eyes and dark hair perfectly match the description of Finch given in Niven’s book!

Even mercy students have their preferred pick of actors that they would love to see on the big screen, under the persona of Theodore Finch. Kelsey Boeing ’17 says, “Logan Lerman would be a great choice to play Finch. Judging from his role in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, he plays the twisted teenager really well.”

4. Logan Lerman


Logan Lerman, how your talent for playing the brooding teenager would be perfect for Theodore Finch!

But, unfortunately, the final decision isn’t up to us fans. I guess we’ll just have to wait for the cast list announcement to put us out of our misery!

(PS: Read All the Bright Places for yourself and help join the search for the perfect Theodore Finch!)

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