Saturday, August 27, 2011

Jodi Compton's "Thieves Get Rich, Saints Get Shot"

Jodi Compton is the author of the acclaimed novels Hailey’s War, The 37th Hour, and Sympathy Between Humans.

Here she develops some ideas for the cast of an adaptation of her new novel, Thieves Get Rich, Saints Get Shot:
Let me start with this: Thieves is a sequel, so if you’re an obsessive reader of “My Book, the Movie”, you might remember that last year I picked two actors for the lead roles of Hailey Cain and Serena Delgadillo. They were Abbie Cornish (Stop-Loss) and, age notwithstanding, Sara Ramirez (Grey’s Anatomy). I say “age notwithstanding” because Hailey, who was 23 at the beginning of Hailey’s War, is still only 25 as Thieves gets underway. Serena “Warchild” Delgadillo is only six months older than her.

You might also, if you have perfect recall like that famous Russian guy, remember that I promised to watch more youth television and movies, in order to find the ideal actors to age-appropriately play these roles. After some thought, I've decided the 29-year-old Cornish is still a good choice for Hailey. For Serena, I'm bumping Ramirez in favor of Luciana Carro, the actress who played the brash Viper pilot Louanne "Kat" Katrane on the new Battlestar Galactica.

Meanwhile, with the publication of Thieves we’ve got some new players on the scene, one of whom is -- no kidding -- almost 50! This is Magnus Ford, the “Shadow Man”. He’s a highly-placed gang intelligence detective in the LAPD, who is both adversary and ally to Hailey. Absolutely, this role is made to be played by David Morse. I can say that so confidently for a reason. I’ve written elsewhere about the fact that House M.D. has been an influence on the Hailey Cain novels, and the character of Magnus Ford was partly inspired by Morse’s performance as Det. Mike Tritter, the nemesis who nearly succeeds in getting the Vicodin-addicted Dr. House convicted of prescription forgery. As Tritter, Morse was soft-spoken, menacing, implacable, yet somehow relatable in his motives -- everything I want Magnus Ford to be. I know this actor has played a great many cops in his time, though, and he’s probably dying to play a shy reference librarian. It’s would take more than a box of Omaha steaks to get him on board, should Thieves ever be in pre-production.

Our other significant newcomer is Ford’s protege Joel Kelleher. He’s 26 -- oh great, that again! -- and a SWAT-team member, therefore learning fast on the job after Ford pulls him off SWAT duty to do undercover gang intelligence work. I think Sam Worthington is an obvious choice here; he's even got the reddish-brown hair that's not too far from Joel's red.
Learn more about the book and author at Jodi Compton's website.

My Book, The Movie: Hailey's War.

The Page 69 Test: Thieves Get Rich, Saints Get Shot.

--Marshal Zeringue