Monday, January 3, 2011

Walter Greatshell's "Mad Skills"

Walter Greatshell's books include Xombies: Apocalypticon and Xombies: Apocalypse Blues.

Here here fleshes out some ideas for the director and lead character in a cinematic adaptation of his latest novel, Mad Skills:
I would love to see Mad Skills adapted into a movie, because the novel is a bit of a commentary on Hollywood action flicks. Like all my work, it’s deliberately cinematic, and unlike my Xombies books it could probably be done on a comparatively low budget. My ideal director for it would be someone with a powerful visual sensibility and a flair for harrowing action scenes, yet also someone who could really explore the heavy emotional terrain of Maddy’s dark journey…while not neglecting the humor. When I think of all those elements combined, I think of something like Children of Men, directed by Alfonso Cuarón—he would be a great choice. Also ideal would be Guillermo del Toro, who directed Hellboy and Pan’s Labyrinth.

In terms of actors, the lead role of Maddy Grant would have to go to an actress young enough to play the 15-year-old Maddy as a ditzy teen, but also mature enough to play the 17-year-old post-operative Maddy, whose artificially-enhanced brainpower causes her so much grief...and grants her so much power. My book describes Maddy as “pale, gangly-limbed, and freckle-faced,” so the actress playing her should be that type. Someone like a younger Emma Stone (Easy A), or a much younger Molly Ringwald. But whoever it is would have to have soul—the ability to go dark…and shave her head. Though I haven’t seen the new version of True Grit yet, directed by the Coen brothers, I’m betting a great choice would be its lead actress, Hailee Steinfeld. For that matter, I’d love to have the Coen brothers direct Mad Skills!
Visit Walter Greatshell's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Mad Skills.

--Marshal Zeringue