Thursday, March 3, 2011

Stephen Deas's "The King of the Crags"

Stephen Deas is the author of the acclaimed short story “The Snow Fox.” The Adamantine Palace introduced The Memory of Flames Trilogy and is followed by The King of the Crags.

Here the author develops some ideas for casting a big screen adaptation of the trilogy:
Generally when I write, I don't write with particular faces or actors or movie characters in mind, I just let each new personality form on its own. However, in this case, there is one striking exception. Prince Jehal, the lead protagonist in The Adamantine Palace and still one of the main players in King of the Crags is Joaquin Phoenix, back in his Gladiator days. Best. Sneer. Ever. He's also the Ultravox song Young Savage, in case he needs theme music. He just might.

For the rest, I've gone for contemporary actors and actresses who could fill the roles as they are today. It's tempting to go back and bring Paul Newman back to life for almost every male character, and please yes, can I have Veronica Lake for Zafir? But somehow, indulging in time-travel feels too much like science fiction rather than fantasy, so I've stuck with more generally familiar names.

Prince Jehal – Joaquin Phoenix

Queen Zafir – Scarlett Johansson. She does capricious to a tee.

Vale Tassan – Alexander Skarsgård (aka Eric Northman). For his unrivalled powers of looming-over-people-in-a-menacing-way.

Kemir – Javier Bardem. Someone who can play a tortured soul and a psychopath with equal ease.

Hyrkallan – Sean Penn. I need a reason to include Sean Penn? Don't be ridiculous.

Semian – Shia LaBeouf. To play a deranged man whose earnest self-belief should be scary enough in itself, never mind what he does with it? Yes. Also for what happens at the end.

Prince Meteroa – Jason Isaacs. You know him as Lucius Malfoy and various other villains, but over in the UK we see a bit more of him that that. Check out The State Within.

Jostan – Owen Wilson. Because of what happens in Chapter 7.

Queen Shezira – Cate Blanchett. Because it is simply necessary, after The Lord of the Rings, that Cate Blanchett be in any and all epic fantasy.

Princess Jaslyn, Princess Lystra – Deborah Ann Woll and Anna Kendrick. Can exchange notes on bloodsuckers and find out what it's like to be in a series with some real monsters.

Isentine – Ben Kingsley. Do not...

Kithyr – Geoffrey Rush. ...Need...

Jeiros – Alan Rickman. ...To justify...

Vioros – Jeremy Irons. ...Any of these. (Although I admit to casting with book three in mind)

King Valmeyan – Tim Roth. For that cocked head cockney gangster look.

King Sirion – Hugo Weaving. Because V For Vendetta earned forgiveness for making Elrond into Agent Smith.

The Picker – Brad Dourif. Because Dune wasn't as bad as you remember it.

Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightly didn't quite make it simply because I couldn't find any characters who die off quick enough and messily enough to achieve some sort of catharsis for Pirates Of The Carribean II & III. I'm amenable to recasting Jehal as Johnny Depp providing I can have him from about ten years ago. I don't much care who directs it, provided they have the vision and the sense of scale for a battle scene with about a thousand dragons in it.
Visit the official Stephen Deas website.

The Page 69 Test: The Adamantine Palace.

The Page 69 Test: The King of the Crags.

--Marshal Zeringue