Monday, July 19, 2010

David Moody's "Dog Blood"

David Moody self-published Hater online in 2006 and, without an agent, succeeded in selling the film rights to Hollywood.

Here he shares some ideas on a possible cast for the film version of Hater and its sequel, Dog Blood:
The movie rights to Hater were acquired by Mark Johnson (producer of the Narnia films) and Guillermo del Toro (director of Hellboy 1 and 2, Pan’s Labyrinth), so I’ve spent endless hours thinking about who I’d like to star in the film.

Both Hater and its sequel, Dog Blood, centre on the character of Danny McCoyne, an average guy: he lives in a small, rented apartment with his partner and (too many) kids, has a job he despises, no cash, no social life etc. etc., until ‘the Hate’ tears his world apart and turns everything on its head. Danny is such an ordinary fellow, such an everyman, that I’ve struggled to think of a current movie star who could portray him effectively. At the beginning of the story he is anonymous and unimportant, and for that reason I’d really like him to be portrayed by an unknown. Danny is certainly no Tom Cruise!

Danny’s close family also play an integral part of the story. His father-in-law, Harry, is a cantankerous old bugger who constantly looks down on him with disappointment and dismay. The character was written with Michael Caine in mind. Caine’s career has been unprecedented and he continues to take great roles. I envisage him as Harry being a cross between his portrayals of Jasper in Children of Men, and as the titular pensioner-turned-vigilante in Harry Brown.

Danny has three children. Like many parents he dearly loves his kids, but they also drive him to distraction. He shares an important bond with his young daughter, Ellis, and, during the writing of Dog Blood, I became aware of a BBC TV programme here in the UK called Outnumbered. It’s a sitcom based around a family situation very similar to that of Danny McCoyne in Hater. One of the young stars of the programme, Ramona Marquez, captures Ellis to a tee – she possesses an extraordinary combination of innocence and an intelligence and manner way beyond her years.

Understandably, with people of the calibre of Guillermo del Toro involved in the project, I’ve spent more time thinking about who will be behind the camera rather than in front of it! As a long-time fan of del Toro, I’d struggle to think of anyone I’d rather have working on the film. With his huge list of current commitments, though, it’s unlikely he’d direct. At the moment J A Bayona (who directed the beautifully creepy The Orphanage) is slated to take that role and I can’t wait to see what they bring to the story.
Learn more about the books and author at David Moody's website.

The Page 69 Test: Hater.

The Page 69 Test: Dog Blood.

--Marshal Zeringue