Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Simon Wood's "Accidents Waiting to Happen"

Simon Wood is the Anthony Award winning author of four books as well as over 150 published stories and articles.

Last year he applied the Page 69 Test to Accidents Waiting to Happen. Here he speculates on the casting of a film adaptation of the novel:
The weird thing is that when I’m reading someone else’s book, I always imagine who I would like to see play the parts in the movie, but when it comes to my own books, I don’t really have a visual of who would appear in the movie. I think the reason for this is that I’m too close to the material. Also when I’m writing all these characters, I tend to be playing all these characters in my head. So if the book became a movie, I’m not sure the world is ready to see me do a one-man production.

That said, I do visualize certain people for several of the roles in Accidents Waiting to Happen. The main role of Josh Michaels requires an actor who comes over as a vulnerable everyman and not someone who is an indestructible superhero. For that I think Matthew Fox (Jack from Lost) would be perfect. I think the moviegoers would get behind him. They could forgive him for the mistakes Josh had made in the story and they would root for him to survive the onslaught coming his way.

Josh has a femme fatale in the form of Belinda “Bell” Wong in his life and there’s no contest to who I want for that role. I wrote the book with Lucy Liu in mind. Lucy would be able to pull off the cruel demented streak Bell possesses. Bell is a character you love to hate and I think Lucy would do the character justice.

The Professional is the story’s anonymous hit man. He’s a tough character to cast, as the killer goes out of his way to make himself transparent to the world around him. But I think Kevin Spacey could pull it off. The Professional is an anonymous but engaging person. For all his milquetoast outer appearance, he possesses the ability to manipulate people. He also possesses a ruthless side. The man is a killer after all. So I think Kevin would be able to give an understated performance that people won’t forget. If we couldn’t get Kevin, I would go with Hugh Laurie. He’s one of those guys who would be able to play all the facets the Professional has to offer.

The last key character in the story is Josh’s best friend, Bob Deuce. Twenty years ago, this would have been a role for John Goodman, but I need someone more contemporary and I would go with Philip Seymour Hoffman. He’s the right age and shape for Bob. And whereas PSH has become known for these serious roles, I think the lightheartedness and comic relief that Bob brings to the story would make a nice break for him and a role he could have a lot of fun with. Well, that’s how I’d sell it to him.

Well that’s the cast, now I just need to sell the movie rights…
Read an excerpt from Accidents Waiting to Happen.

Visit Simon Wood's website, his MySpace page, and his blog.

The Page 69 Test: Accidents Waiting to Happen.

--Marshal Zeringue