Thursday, August 14, 2008

Jennifer Rardin's "Bitten to Death"

Jennifer Rardin is the author of Bitten to Death and three previous novels in the Jaz Parks Series.

Here she develops some ideas for a cinematic adaptation of the novels:
The Jaz Parks Series in THX, Surround Smell and Possibly 3D!

“OMG, not another vampire movie!” Okay, that’s not exactly what our Hollywood agent said when we introduced him to the Jaz-gang. But he seemed doubtful. After all, the pile of vampire schlock on video shelves could induce coma-style symptoms in even the most tightly wound insomniac. And I can see why you might feel the same.

But, dudes, you gotta go with me on this one.

First we pull in a kickass director. Somebody who can really do action, because my books are pretty much fueled by adrenalin and PowerBars. So I’m thinking a duo, as in the Wachowski brothers. Why? Ahem. As of August 12, Orbit will have published four books in the Jaz Parks series: Once Bitten, Twice Shy; Another One Bites the Dust; Biting the Bullet and Bitten to Death. Between them we enjoy car chases, attempted assassinations, successful assassinations, roof falls, hand-to-hand combat, gun battles, plus some way cool monsters and their associated gore. I know, I’m doing a little happy dance just thinking of it. You too? Meet me out back later. We’ll Samba.

In addition, all the stories are laced with as much humor as they can hold without becoming a Mel Brooks knockoff. Which is why casting is going to be a challenge. Sure Jet Li can kick your teeth in. But can he make you giggle? I think not. So let’s start with Vayl. He’s our hero. A vamp who’s as thrilling as he is chilling. His portrayer’s gotta be a stud. One to make the girls adjust their lingerie and the guys reach for their poker decks. I’m thinking we should snag Gerard Butler for the role. Need I say more? I didn’t think so.

Our heroine is Jaz Parks. Tough pickings here. We need a sassy young ass-kicker who can reveal both the vulnerability Jaz feels when she recalls the terrible losses she’s experienced, as well as play up the laughs she provokes as she slams through her missions. Most of the time I think our star still hasn’t been discovered. That she’ll appear from a cattle call to blow us all away with her wit and wisdom. But if that doesn’t happen, I’m picking Emma Watson, who played Hermione in the Harry Potter films. Let’s all hope she can pull off a Midwestern accent, yeah?

Debates continue to rage across my website as to who should fill out the rest of the cast. We have Cassandra, the regal psychic who once played oracle to a North African god. My choice? Gina Torres. (Loved her in Firefly.) Bergman, the sci-guy who’d invent a new day of the week if he really needed to work that hard, would probably look good on an actor like Paul Bettany, whose Chaucer had me rolling during A Knight’s Tale. And I’d love to see Christopher Masterson play Cole. I think he could pull off that brash, charming personality, leaving the entire audience loving him while at the same time throwing up their hands in disgust.

Oh, I almost forgot, we gotta get somebody to play me, the grateful author at the premier, who keeps hugging fans of real celebrities and yelling, “Holy crap, I can’t believe they made a movie outta my book!” What would you say to Nathan Lane in drag? I know! Wouldn’t he be perfect? Entertaining, funny and totally unexpected. Just what I like to give my readers. See you at the theater!
Read an excerpt from Bitten to Death, and learn more about the author and her work at Jennifer Rardin's website, MySpace page, and Facebook page.

--Marshal Zeringue