Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Man Martin's "Paradise Dogs"

Man Martin is a writer, teacher, and founding member of the Perambulators living in Atlanta, Georgia. His debut novel, Days of the Endless Corvette, made him Georgia Author of the Year in 2008.

Here he shares his picks for the cast of an adaptation of his new novel, Paradise Dogs:
Casting a hypothetical film version of Paradise Dogs, what a fun indulgence! But it won’t have any relevance to someone who doesn’t know the plot, so in a nutshell, it’s about Adam Newman, an alcoholic entrepreneur attempting to reunite with his estranged ex-wife, recover a fortune in missing diamonds, and expose a communist conspiracy. He and his shy, nerdy son – who happens to be in love with his half-brother’s girlfriend - embark on a series of misadventures with mistaken identities, jailhouse weddings, bar fights, and secret government agents.

So now that you know that, here’s how I would cast it.

Adam Newman – Nicolas Cage or else Gary Busey. Nicolas Cage makes some of the best movies I’ve ever seen and some of the worst. This would be one of his good movies. In Leaving Las Vegas he played an alcoholic with such terrifying believability, I couldn’t get him out of my head while writing Paradise Dogs. But really Gary Busey might also the type I’d want. I couldn’t find a really recent photo of him, but I suspect by now he looks rode hard and put up wet. But he’s the type of person you might follow against your better judgment into a world of trouble. Look at his face. You’d never trust a guy like that, but he trusts himself so much.

Addison Newman – The part of Adam’s son needs to go to a relative unknown; the obvious and conventional choices, John Francis Daley and Michael Cera, are too overexposed and too long in the tooth for this project. Erik Per Sullivan – who played the youngest brother on Malcolm in the Middle might work out. I think, though, Olly Alexander would be the best choice. In the god-awful Gulliver’s Travels, he was praised for his “oddly nervous charm.” Nervous, odd, and charm: that’s what we need for Addison Newman.

Kathleen Neligan – Another crucial and difficult role to cast. Hollywood is even tougher on young actresses than on actors. Talented, young, and pretty is a recipe for getting over-hyped and over exposed; they quickly become caricatures of themselves. I don’t know her work, but Teresa Palmer looks right for the part. Pretty, but not too pretty. A believable girl-next-door who’d give you hell if you called her the girl-next-door.

Lily Manzana and Evelyn Newman, Adam Newman’s girlfriend and ex-wife – Eva Langoria would be the pick for Adam’s Cuban fiancée. Petite but strong-willed, a Cubana who would speak perfectly unaccented English, having dutifully studied “It Pays to Increase Your Word Power,” but get the idioms just wrong, always selecting the biggest and most impressive word instead of the right one. Patricia Heaton as Adam’s ex-wife, sensible and down-to-earth, but you wouldn’t be surprised to hear her wax eloquent about raising earthworms.

Walt Disney – Uncle Walt makes a cameo in the story, a perfect role for Johnny Depp who’s been overused in the Pirates franchise but I think would make a wonderfully deadpan lunatic Disney. Or maybe Nicolas Cage could play Disney… hmmm…
Visit Man Martin's website and blog.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Man Martin and Zoe.

Writers Read: Man Martin.

--Marshal Zeringue