Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Barbara Levenson's "Fatal February"

Barbara Levenson, former prosecutor and judge, is the author of Fatal February, available on February 1st.

Here she lays out some ideas for cast and director of a film adaptation of the novel:
Fatal February is one part romance, one part mystery with a large spoonful of humor. After I wrote the book, I received several suggestions that it really was the blue print for a TV series, because it is the first in a series of mysteries with continuing characters. But who hasn’t dreamt of selling their brainchild as a movie?

The protagonist, Mary Magruder Katz, is a quirky criminal defense attorney in Miami, Florida. She is half Jewish and half Southern Baptist which explains her name. She has a hot Latin lover who is half Cuban and half Argentine. In Miami, the melting pot often begins in the wedding chapel.

I didn’t write with an eye to a particular look or actor in mind. Now that the characters are full blown, I do visualize who would fill the parts. Drew Barrymore has the right mix of comic timing and intelligent demeanor to be Mary. If I were casting a lesser known actor, Joelle Carter has the look. She has done television and movies but not as the lead, so this could be beneficial to her and to the film.

Carlos Martin, the Latin hotty, exudes head-turning sex appeal. Javier Bardem has the look, but an open casting call in Miami would probably net 500 great newcomers.

It’s really all about the directing. Tony Sears is a bright new director who has made great documentaries as well as directing musical comedies and plays in regional theatres. He’s got the insight to pull out on-target performances from lesser known actors, since he runs his own actor’s school. Another choice to direct is Darryl Hickman if he could be lured out of retirement.

Mary’s client, Lillian Yarmouth, is accused of stabbing her philandering husband to death. Glenn Close is just right. She can exude venom while still appearing to be fragile and feminine. Maddy Rodriquez, the “other woman” would be an easy role for Jennifer Lopez.

This movie is sure to be a hit in Miami. I can even imagine the preview. Maybe I better go buy a gown – just in case.
Learn more about the book and author at Barbara Levenson's website.

--Marshal Zeringue