Sunday, November 8, 2009

Lawrence Watt-Evans' "Dragon Weather"

Lawrence Watt-Evans has been a full-time writer and editor for more than twenty years. The author of more than thirty novels, over one hundred short stories, and more than one hundred and fifty published articles, Watt-Evans writes primarily in the fields of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and comic books. His short fiction has won the Hugo Award as well as twice winning the Asimov’s Readers Award.

Here he shares some casting ideas for the principal roles in an adaptation of Dragon Weather, a novel in the Obsidian Chronicles, the story of Arlian of the Smoking Mountain, a man obsessed with revenge on the dragons that killed his family:
The fact is, I try not to cast my novels -- I prefer to let the reader do it. I don't usually give much physical description of the protagonist, either, so that the reader can imagine himself in the role. (I know not every reader does that, but some do.)

But since you ask, let me consider one of my own favorites, Dragon Weather. I absolutely did not cast it when I was writing it, but I had a pretty good idea of what the characters were like, so looking back now, I can see who would fit. Alas, some of the ages aren't right, but allow me some impossibly good make-up, or maybe a little CGI, to fix that.

The book has a cast of hundreds, and I'm not going to try to find someone for every role; let's restrict it to the four most important characters.

I'm tired of the cliche of casting British actors for the villains and Americans for the heroes, but I can't help myself -- the chief villain, Lord Enziet, needs to be played by Alan Rickman. He's so good at playing supercilious villains, and his face and physique are perfect.

The poor doomed sweetheart, the girl called Sweet, I'd like to see played by Dichan Lachman -- if you don't recognize the name, she plays Sierra on the TV series Dollhouse. (I'd actually been thinking of maybe Kristin Bell or Sarah Michelle Gellar when I started on this, but then I remembered Lachman and that was that.)

For the mentor/sidekick Black, I'm thinking Russell Crowe.

As for the hero, Arlian of the Smoking Mountain -- well, it took me awhile, but you know, I think a younger Robert Downey, Jr. would be perfect. Arlian's a little disconnected from the people around him because he's obsessed with revenge, and Downey's good at that sort of disconnect. His appearance is very much what I'd imagined for Arlian. So if he wants it, the role is his.

And hey, that final confrontation between Arlian and Enziet, with Downey and Rickman -- I want to see that!
Learn more about the author and his work at Lawrence Watt-Evans' website and blog.

--Marshal Zeringue