Saturday, August 13, 2011

Carson Morton's "Stealing Mona Lisa"

Carson Morton was born in London, England and moved with his family to the United States when he was eleven. He worked as a professional musician for many years, making an album for United Artists Records with his group Razmataz, and playing with the likes of John Sebastian, Billy Preston, and many others. He is a screenwriter and published playwright, and has worked in television as a consultant and composer.

Here he shares some cast preferences for an adaptation of his new novel, Stealing Mona Lisa:
Stealing Mona Lisa is set in the colorful and romantic Paris of 1911. I definitely see it as a movie with the wonders of CGI doing the heavy lifting when it comes to depicting the City of Lights during the waning years of La Belle Époque. CGI would be an essential tool in bringing to life the dramatic flooding of Paris by the restless River Seine, the setting of the book’s climax. Indeed, the story began life as a screenplay. So here goes:

There is only one person who can play the mysterious mastermind of the scheme to steal The Mona Lisa and sell six copies to six American robber barons. Johnny Depp is the Marquis de Valfierno. To play the real object of his obsession and the “bird in a gilded cage” wife of industrialist Joshua Hart, I’d pick Rosamund Pike. Her humble beauty and acting ability would be a joy to behold. Scarlett Johansson was born to play the beautiful but unpredictable young American pickpocket, Julia Conway (hmm… or perhaps Jennifer Lawrence). As for Émile, the young man whom Valfierno rescued as a street-urchin, Jamie Bell would do quite nicely, thank you. Now we come to the bad guys! For the vicious American robber baron, Joshua Hart, I would go with Tim Curry or even Kevin Spacey. Finally, to play the hapless, desperate Inspector Carnot, I would get down on my knees and beg Paul Giammatti to take the job!
Learn more about the book and author at Carson Morton's website.

The Page 69 Test: Stealing Mona Lisa.

--Marshal Zeringue