Friday, October 10, 2008

Eric Stone's "Flight of the Hornbill"

Eric Stone is the author of the novels Living Room of the Dead and Grave Imports. Additionally, he wrote the non-fiction book Wrong Side of the Wall.

Here he develops some ideas for director and cast for a cinematic adaptation of his new novel, Flight of the Hornbill:
I don’t expect a movie of any of my books to actually be much like my books. I’m not sure I’d want it to be. I want different things from movies and books. They’d be welcome to add action and plot elements if they wanted, so long as they stayed true to the characters, settings and basic ideas. So I’ve never given much thought as to who would play who, or who would direct.

Flight of the Hornbill is certainly no comedy, but I’d love to see it directed by Preston Sturges, my favorite comedy director of all time. He’d have a very nice feel for the social, cultural and political nuances of the books, as well as the way the characters interact with those elements. A modern director would be tougher. Maybe John Woo. He has a nice way with stories involving loyalties among the characters and an excellent sense of place in his movies, and he could certainly spice up the action. Andrew Lau and Alan Mak – the directors of Infernal Affairs, the Hong Kong movie that was far better than The Departed, which was based on it – might also be good.

Spencer Tracy or John Garfield would make a great Ray Sharp, my protagonist; an everyman who manages to stumble his way into doing the right thing because of his loyalty to his friends and also to a rather complicated, and compromised, moral compass. As far as modern actors go, Brad Pitt could do a pretty good job if the makeup artist could make him look a little more like a regular guy. Chow Yun Fat would be good, too, and I don’t mind changing the race of the character.

Ray’s love interest would have to be smart, beautiful and strong, with an under layer of sadness. Veronica Lake would have done nicely. Angelina Jolie would be just fine with me, or Emily Deschanel from the TV show Bones. The main bad guy could be nicely played by Alan Rickman, but he’d need to put on a French accent.
Read an excerpt from Flight of the Hornbill, and learn more about the book and author at Eric Stone's website.

Flight of the Hornbill is the third Ray Sharp novel. See the Page 69 Test for Grave Imports, the second book in the series.

--Marshal Zeringue