Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Mike Brotherton's "Spider Star"

Mike Brotherton is a professor of Astronomy at the University of Wyoming, Laramie, and the author of the novels Star Dragon and Spider Star.

Here he shares some ideas about who might direct and star in a cinematic adaptation of Spider Star...and establishes without equivocation the director he most definitely does not want to see anywhere near the project:
My novel Spider Star from Tor Books is a far-future space adventure with starships, aliens, advanced technology, and a lot of astronomy. Unfortunately a lot of Hollywood movies with these elements wind up being pretty dumb, with Armageddon at the top of the heap. With this in mind, my first notion about my book as a movie is that Michael Bay be assassinated if he even hears the slightest whisper about Spider Star. I might become suicidal if my ideas became transformed into a Michael Bay movie.

Having said that, my choice for director would be Zombie Kubrick, but he worked slowly even when he was alive, so let's go with Robert Zemeckis. He did a good job of making the science fiction elements of Contact realistic, and I love the way he uses special effects as a tool rather than an end product (e.g., Michael Bay).

There are three point-of-view characters in Spider Star. Frank Klingston is an older family-oriented man of Nordic stock who has put his days of exploration behind him, but when his world is threatened, he takes up the challenge. A lot of the book is about him struggling with sacrifice for his family, which he must give up in order to save, and how discovery and risk are a young man's game that he must learn how to play all over again. I see William Hurt pulling off Frank Klingston, mixing elements from his roles in The Accidental Tourist, Lost in Space, and the Sci-Fi Channel adaptation of Dune. He can do wise patriarch, and disconnected man searching to feel that fire of life again.

While Frank is big, blond, a little soft and reluctant to embark on an extended mission to deep space, his counter point is Manuel Rusk. Rusk is smaller, younger, darker, and much more ambitious and anxious to prove himself. My first thought was Antonio Banderas, but he's getting a bit old himself, and also perhaps a bit too old would be Nestor Carbonell (Richard Alpert on Lost, and BatManuel on The Tick, and the Mayor in The Dark Knight). I'd prefer a younger, more ambitious actor. Freddy Rodriguez, who played El Wray in the Planet Terror segment of Grindhouse, would be terrific.

The third main character is Sloan Griffin, sometimes lover to Rusk, and fellow Specialist with a passion for security and spotting the things that are out of place. She's focused, dedicated, and extremely competent in her work. I see Carrie-Anne Moss who played Trinity in the Matrix movies and the mission commander in Red Planet. She seems to exude the qualities in her roles that I think of when I consider Sloan Griffin.

I would trust Trinity to off Michael Bay if his name came up with association with the project.
Read the prologue and first four chapters of Spider Star. Learn more about the author and his work at Mike Brotherton's website.

The Page 69 Test: Spider Star.

--Marshal Zeringue