Sunday, March 2, 2008

Deanna Raybourn's Lady Julia Grey series

Deanna Raybourn is the author of the Lady Julia Grey series, including Silent in the Grave and Silent in the Sanctuary.

Here she shares a few thoughts about the cast and director of a potential film adaptation of the books:
The funny thing about imagining the late Victorian Julia Grey series as a movie is that nobody ever picks anybody to play Lady Julia Grey, the aristocratic amateur sleuth. I blame Nicholas Brisbane. He’s Julia’s partner in detection and more, a mysterious private inquiry agent, tall, dark, handsome, and enigmatic — a devastating combination. Women like to cast his role endlessly, and they have very strong opinions on the matter. Just this week I got an e-mail from an Australian reader who included a picture of “local boy Hugh Jackman” as her pick. (Not that I would have any say whatsoever in casting, but it was nice to have a little eye candy at my desk.) The top choices to play Nicholas are — in no particular order because otherwise there would be a serious catfight — Hugh Jackman, Gerard Butler, Clive Owen, James Purefoy, and most recently, Javier Bardem.

When I really, really press women for an answer on who should play Julia, I get a half-hearted, “Oh, I suppose Scarlett Johansson would do,” and then they go back to debating how many times Nicholas should take his shirt off in the movie. (I always pictured her looking a little more like Eva Green myself, although the voice is totally wrong.)

I’m not sure that any author, having seen what Joe Wright did for Atonement, wouldn’t happily make some small human sacrifices to get him on board as director. (And if I’m going to ask for the moon, I’d pretty much take anybody who ever touched Atonement, but that’s just greedy isn’t it?)

But if I’m completely honest, I don’t actually care all that much about the particulars of casting because once I turn loose the film rights, the story is no longer mine to tell. I would love to see what a different kind of storyteller, working in a different medium, would do with these characters. If you’re a producer and you’re reading this, it means I am the LAST girl to take an ad out in Variety telling you you’re doing it wrong. All I ask is a visit to the set, and maybe a little one-on-one time with Gerard Butler.
Learn more about Silent in the Grave and Silent in the Sanctuary at the publisher's website.

Visit Deanna Raybourn's website, Blog A Go-Go.

--Marshal Zeringue