If his debut novel A Questionable Life is adapted for the big screen, here are Lively's suggestions for director and principal cast:
My book, A Questionable Life, has been described as ideal for movie adaption, especially with the current economic and social conditions. Set against a backdrop of greed, deceit and corruption, the story follows a ruthless banker, Jack Oliver, as he attempts to climb to the top of the corporate ladder in Philadelphia. When his plans are derailed, Jack’s life begins an uncontrollable downward spiral. On the verge of losing everything he had worked to achieve, Jack’s best friend, John Helms connects him with an old, rural banker—Benjamin “Benny” Price. Benny helps Jack to change his greedy perspective by introducing Jack to a different kind of life in the Blue Ridge Mountains of rural Virginia—a life of giving.Read more about the book and author at the publisher's website and Luke Lively's website.
Director- With much of the movie connected to hiking and the outdoors, the ideal Director would be Robert Redford. Redford has already made excellent movies in rural surroundings (A River Runs Through It). In addition, Redford won an Oscar directing a movie where a family was destroyed by class consciousness and greed (Ordinary People). Also in his list of directing credits is an inspirational story of redemption and hope (The Legend of Bagger Vance).
Benjamin “Benny” Price- Redford, aging gracefully would also be ideal to play the role of Benny Price, the wise, experienced life-coach. Tall and exuding a calm confidence, Redford would fit perfectly as director and co-lead.
Jack Oliver- Philip Seymour Hoffman is perfectly suited to take on the character of the despicable, greedy banker, Jack Oliver. Hoffman is engaging even when he is bad (Mission: Impossible III) and would bring the complex character traits and collision of ethics and morality Jack Oliver faces to life for movie audiences similar to his Oscar winning performance in Capote. Physically, Hoffman again fits the character of self-indulgent, hard-drinking and chain-smoking Jack Oliver.
Tina Oliver- Julianne Moore not only looks like Tina, the left-behind wife of Jack Oliver, but has portrayed characters (The End of the Affair) struggling with life choices. Seeing Moore together with Hoffman would showcase the vast differences in how the two characters set out to find happiness together and instead are forced to deal with shattered dreams, forgiveness and redemption.
John Helms- If ever there was a happy-go-lucky character described as a “Southern John F. Kennedy, Jr.” Matthew McConaughey fits the bill. The role of John Helms requires the good looks and womanizing exuberance McConaughey is capable of delivering. Seeing McConaughey and Hoffman on screen offers both a visual and philosophical divergence that would maintain a grip on audiences.
Ann Price- Meryl Streep, utilizing Hollywood’s best make-up artists to age beyond her years, would be an amazing Ann Price. The final scenes of the movie pull together the themes of love, forgiveness and redemption. No one could be a better fit than Oscar winning Ms. Streep.
There you have it—a sure-fire Oscar winning film and office blockbuster, A Questionable Life.