Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Alex Scarrow's "A Thousand Suns"

Alex Scarrow is the author of the thrillers A Thousand Suns and Last Light.

About A Thousand Suns:
Off the coast of New England, a trawler tangles its nets on wreckage from sixty years ago - a B17 'flying fortress' , perfectly preserved and containing the final and most terrifying secret of WWII. When freelance photographer, Chris Roland, enters the sunken plane , what he discovers in the dark, tomb-like interior changes everything he knows about the end of the war and how desperately close it came to being the end of everything.

A Thousand Suns is a tale that cuts breathlessly between the present, as a long dormant and sinister agency stirs once more, readying to preserve the secret at any cost - and the past, as a young crew of German airmen, the very last of Hitler's Luftwaffe, fight impossible odds to save their country. As both plots race towards a conclusion, this most horrifying wartime revelation hangs in the balance.
Scarrow shares some casting ideas for a potential film adaptation:
The book started out as a screenplay anyway, so writing it as a novel, it already had the movie pace, and chapters that were effectively scenes. As I wrote the book, from page one I already had the cast in my head - something screenwriters do, more than novel writers I think. Anyway then, let's get on with casting...

Chris Roland, a wildlife photographer who explores the submerged ruins of a B-17 bomber off the coast of America. That role was always going to be played by Paul Bettany (Wimbledon, Da Vinci Code, Master and Commander). He's very English and self-effacing.

Max Kleinman, pilot and leader of a Luftwaffe crew, tasked with flying a captured B-17 bomber to America to drop the Nazis' one and only atom bomb on New York in the last few days of the war. I saw this character being played by a Kiefer Sutherland ten years younger. But obviously since we can't rewind the clock, I'd look at someone like Clive Owen.

Major Rall, a major in the Luftwaffe who puts together the audacious mission plan. Well now, I kept seeing Robert Duvall in The Eagle Has Landed. He'd be too old to play this similar role, so in his place I'd look at someone like Gary Oldman.

Hauser, an anti-semitic scientist who develops the Nazi bomb. A nasty, slimey, self-serving piece of work, this chap. I could only think of one bloke to play him, Doug Hutchison (the really nasty little prison guard in The Green Mile).

Wallace, an old man in the present who's spent a life working for the SOE, the CIA, comes out of the woodwork to reveal to Chris Roland the events that happened in the dying days of WWII. Obviously someone in their 80's, to be plausible. However, I think Anthony Hopkins could be aged ten years to look frail enough for the role.

As it happens, there are a couple film 'suits' sniffing around the movie rights, so it's always a possibility. Maybe one day. Whilst I'm still alive would be nice.
Visit the Scarrow Brothers' website, Alex Scarrow's blog, and read reviews of A Thousand Suns.

The Page 69 Test: A Thousand Suns.

--Marshal Zeringue