Thursday, September 2, 2010

Tom Hinshelwood's "The Killer"

Tom Hinshelwood is a freelance video editor and scriptwriter. He was born in Staffordshire, England and now lives in London.

Here he shares some thoughts on casting an adaptation of The Killer, his first novel:
This is a tough one! Unlike many novelists, when I was writing my first book, I didn’t picture any of my characters played by actors, which in retrospect seems very odd as I wrote The Killer in a very cinematic style. Victor, the enigmatic professional assassin protagonist of my novel is a particularly difficult role to cast as leading men tend to be good looking guys who would stand out in most crowds. This is the antithesis of Victor, who does everything in his power to be anonymous, to blend in to the background, to go unnoticed. He’s even had cosmetic surgery to reduce his attractiveness. He’s also extremely lethal and capable of outfighting multiple skilled enemies, but he’s not some man mountain. He looks like a regular guy, but the actor who plays him has to be believably deadly without piling on the muscle to convince us he could beat up someone.

Even now my book is out I find it difficult to imagine who would play the main characters. Their look and manner are so strongly defined in my imagination that I just can’t be objective. What I can do is pass on who friends and family have suggested. Names as diverse as Christian Bale, Sam Worthington and Adrien Brody have been put forward for Victor. All would be equally great in my opinion but for equally differing reasons. I’m told Christian Bale would be ideal at portraying the darker aspects of Victor’s character, whereas Sam Worthington would be very believable in demonstrating Victor’s lethality, and Adrien Brody would excel with Victor’s cold, analytical demeanour.

For Reed, the English master hitman sent after Victor, I’ve been assured Colin Firth and Hugh Grant would be perfect. Both might at first seem a strange choice for a calculating and remorseless killer, but I think it would be great fun for Grant or Firth to take on a role which is the exact opposite of those they traditionally play. It would be a massive shock for an audience used to see them as romantic leads when Firth or Grant are assassinating targets with ruthless efficiency.

Other names that have been suggested to me are Jessica Alba, Rachel Bilson, Jessica Biel, Selma Blair, and Jennifer Garner for the role of Rebecca, Jon Voight and Keith Carradine to play Ferguson, Tate Donovan, Ryan Gosling and Topher Grace for Sykes, and Javier Bardem for Alvarez.
Learn more about The Killer and its author at Tom Hinshelwood's website.

Writers Read: Tom Hinshelwood.

The Page 69 Test: The Killer.

--Marshal Zeringue