Saturday, September 29, 2007

Victor Gischler's "Shotgun Opera"

Victor Gischler is the author of four hard-boiled crime novels. His debut novel Gun Monkeys was nominated for the Edgar Award. His work has been translated into Italian, French, Spanish and Japanese. He earned a Ph.D. in English at the University of Southern Mississippi. His fifth novel, Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse, is due out in June 2008 by the Touchstone/Fireside imprint of Simon & Schuster.

In March 2007 he applied the Page 69 Test to Shotgun Opera. Now he has taken the novel through the "My Book, The Movie" exercise and has come up with these ideas for a film adaptation:
I forget who said it, but somebody remarked Shotgun Opera would make a cool John Woo film. I guess I don’t have any problem with that. Shotgun Opera certainly has enough action. And it might have been excellent author J.D. Rhoades who said it reminded him of those Transporter films. That would be cool too. All of my novels have a cool dose of action, but it was Shotgun most of all that I wanted to have a “nonstop” feel, and so the above comparisons seem pretty good to me. If you took John Woo and a healthy pinch of that Robert Rodriguez quirkiness, I think you’d have it.

The protagonist of the book is a fellow named Mike Foley. Mike is in hiding now from him past life when he and his brothers hired out as freelance guns for the mob. Mike is in his mid-sixties, and I think Gabriel Byrne would be perfect for the part if he’d let the makeup artists age him by 10-12 years. I think he’d nail the part.

Casting the Three Sisters would be crucial and tricky. Nikki Enders (the oldest sister) needs to be somebody athletically kick-ass and in her mid-thirties. Hilary Swank? Hmmmmm. Maybe. Eva Longoria might make a good Middle Sister, and Baby sister needs to be some fierce-eyed, seventeen-year-old punk newcomer.

And let’s not forget our carnival freaks. I’m not sure who should play Jack Sprat, but his Alligator-wrestling wife should definitely be played by wrestler Joanie Laurer.

I suppose most authors think their novels would make pretty good films. I’m no different. My first novel Gun Monkeys is currently under option and The Pistol Poets has been optioned previously. There are some folks looking at Suicide Squeeze right now. But so far not a lot of film interest in Shotgun Opera. I think it’s a screenplay waiting to happen.
Visit Victor Gischler's Blogpocalypse.

The Page 69 Test: Shotgun Opera.

--Marshal Zeringue