Saturday, February 20, 2010

Graham Brown's "Black Rain"

Graham Brown is a former pilot, lawyer and executive at a small health care company. He lives in Tucson, Arizona, where he is currently at work on his second novel, a sequel to the recently released Black Rain.

Here he shares some casting ideas for a cinematic adaptation of Black Rain:
What a great idea this blog is. What writer hasn’t cast their movie a hundred times in their own heads?

First, a little about the plot. Black Rain is a techno-thriller that takes place in the jungle. It meshes the actual Mayan creation legend with a race for elements that could bring about working cold fusion and provide the energy source of the 21st century.

The characters include Danielle Laidlaw, the young, attractive team leader, thrust into the spotlight when her mentor is called back to Washington D.C. An ex-CIA mercenary who goes by the name of Hawker. Unlike most “rogue cops,” Hawker played by his own rules and got burned. He’s now a fugitive and a pariah, hired only because he is expendable. He’s ready to let go of any moral compunction if it means getting back to the world’s good graces. The third main character is a university professor named McCarter. He’s grieving from the loss of his wife after a long battle with cancer and joins the team despite its seemingly absurd goals, just to get away from himself.

So who to play these characters? They’re somewhat archetypical, but I think I’ve taken a fresh angle on all them. The readers will have to be the judge of that.

In many ways, Danielle is the main character, and the most difficult to cast. She has to come across as smart, formidable. That’s far more important than her being beautiful, on the other hand if we can cover all the bases… Angelina Jolie would work, the character is roughly thirty, attractive and forced to be manipulative to get what she’s after. And she’s smart. Whatever some people think about Angelina, she’s definitely smart, stunning and if can be manipulative if she needs to be: a force to be reckoned with, I like that. But if she wasn’t available, Olivia Wilde immediately comes to mind, (Dr. Remy 'Thirteen' Hadley on House). Those eyes, that smile and she always seems like the sharpest blade in the room when I watch her. So definitely Olivia would be great. As she said “smart is sexy.”

That brings us to Hawker our ex-CIA mercenary. Of course George Clooney would work. The guy never gets his props for being a great actor but he can downright pull off the deep roles. In this case, the I ruined my life through my own arrogance role (anyone who saw Michael Clayton knows this – and if you haven’t you’re really missing a great movie.) But I have a feeling he’s not into this type project. So who? Either of the main leads from Lost would do a great job. Matthew Fox brings incredible intensity to the screen. Josh Holloway, who plays Sawyer is fantastic as the handsome, world weary traveler with a self deprecating sense of humor. Both are traits I’ve tried to instill in the character. So yeah, I’ll take either of those guys.

Finally Professor McCarter, this is the one role I have always known who to cast in, right from day one. James Earl Jones where are you, sir? This character is the moral centerpiece of the story; in many he pulls the group together and acts like a mentor as they threaten to splinter apart. He has to have gravitas, depth. I swear I could hear Mr. Jones’ voice every time McCarter had some dialogue. I’ve never pictured anyone else for it and I never will.
Read an excerpt from Black Rain, and learn more about the book and author at Graham Brown's website and blog.

--Marshal Zeringue