Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Kelli Stanley's "The Curse-Maker"

Kelli Stanley is the author of last year's acclaimed City of Dragons.

Her debut book, Nox Dormienda (2008), was a Writer’s Digest Notable Debut, won the Bruce Alexander Memorial Historical Mystery Award, and was a Macavity Award finalist.

Here she plays casting director for an adaptation of her new novel, The Curse-Maker, the sequel to Nox Dormienda:
I’d love to see my books made into film … what author (except maybe J.D. Salinger) wouldn’t?

For The Curse-Maker, I’d stick to the idea that Romans are voiced by Americans and native Britons by, of course, the British. This turns the mid-Atlantic accent tradition on its head, but is eminently more suitable for the voice of Roman noir.

Now then … who to play Arcturus?

If this were the Golden Age of Hollywood, no problem—I’d try to get William Holden at 35. He’s the epitome of tall, dark and classically handsome, but also sensitive and sarcastic—some of Arcturus’ prime characteristics.

We’re not in the Golden Age of Hollywood, however … and the only actors who can fit the bill—to my mind—aren’t American. If we follow the Holden prototype, Hugh Jackman would work. And I could be very happy with a blond Arcturus were Daniel Craig to step into his toga. Russell Crowe could play anything at any age and make me happy.

As for Gwyna … well, again, we’re looking at a cross between Grace Kelly and Lana Turner. She’s younger than Arcturus, smart, brave, and headstrong. Scarlett Johansson would bring good things to the role, but I’d prefer Naomi Watts about ten years ago. Intelligence and a kind of royal deportment are two of Gwyna’s strongest traits, and a younger Naomi could have captured both brilliantly.

Of the secondary characters, I’d cast Jennifer Connelly or Nicole Kidman as Sulpicia, Kevin Durand as Draco, George Clooney as Philo, Kathy Bates as Materna, and Mark Strong as Papirius … with Robert Downey, Jr. as Faro the Great.

It’s a fantasy, after all—so why not an all-star cast?
Read an excerpt from The Curse-Maker, and learn more about the novel and author at Kelli Stanley's website and blog.

My Book, The Movie: Nox Dormienda.

Coffee with a Canine: Kelli Stanley & Bertie.

The Page 69 Test: The Curse-Maker.

--Marshal Zeringue