Thursday, September 29, 2011

Terra Elan McVoy's "The Summer of Firsts and Lasts"

Terra Elan McVoy is the author of the YA novels Pure, After the Kiss, and The Summer of Firsts and Lasts.

Here she shares some casting suggestions for a big screen adaptation of The Summer of Firsts and Lasts:
When I was writing The Summer of Firsts and Lasts, the whole thing was such a movie in my head,that it’s hard to think about what it would look like as a movie in real life! That said, I think I was definitely influenced by summer camp movies while I was writing, including Little Darlings and Wet Hot American Summer. At least in terms of getting the energy and tone of summer camp down.

Since tone is so important, I’d ask Amy Heckerling, director of Clueless, one of my favorite teen films, to direct. Though the characters and settings in that film and my book are all really different, I think she’d get the fun, bouncy, teenage-drama vibe just right.

In terms of casting, I wouldn’t want to cast a bunch of 20 year-olds to play high schoolers, as so often happens. I think getting real teenagers to play teenagers (a la John Hughes) is the way I’d want to go, and so many teen stars look a lot older than they really are, so it’s tricky. Elle Fanning would probably be a good choice for Daisy, the youngest of the three sisters in The Summer of Firsts and Lasts. Emma Watson is a little too old now to play Calla, the eldest sister, but rewind time a few years and she’d be perfect. Her or Emma Roberts. As for Violet, the middle sister, I think she’s the hardest to try and cast, because I can see her so clearly in my mind and I’m not sure there’s anyone out there who matches, but for bad-girl character Brynn, I’d pick Emma Stone. (Again, maybe a couple of years younger than she is now.) The guys are equally hard for me to cast, but I think Kevin McHale from Glee would be good to play Violet’s love interest, James, and Calla’s crush Duncan is definitely Aaron Johnson from Kick Ass!

Thanks for making me think about it. Of course, I’d be happy if this got made at all—even with a lot of unknowns!
Visit Terra Elan McVoy's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Peggy Webb's Southern Cousins Mystery Series

Peggy Webb is the author of the popular Southern Cousins Mystery Series. Publishers Weekly and Romantic Times love her latest book, Elvis and the Tropical Double Trouble. She also pens literary fiction as Anna Michaels, and currently she is bringing the classic romances from her early career back to fans as e-books.

Here she muses about the ideal cast for an adaptation of the Southern Cousins books:
I’ve had many fans tell me the comedic Southern Cousins Mystery Series should be made into a movie. In fact, an independent filmmaker is currently pitching it as a TV series! We’ll see how all that goes. A writer girl could go gray waiting for Hollywood. Oh, wait a minute…I’m already going gray.

If I had my ‘druthers, who would I get to play the roles of the Valentine cousins and their assorted friends and family? Who would be the voice of Elvis, the basset hound who thinks he’s the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll?

Morgan Freeman has a beautiful voice, but he’s a bit too serious-sounding for this sassy, sleuthing basset hound. I’d like to have Brad Pitt. Really, who wouldn’t? What I mean is, I’d like to have Brad do the voice of Elvis. What an attitude and a huge presence he could bring to the screen! Just right for the King of Everything!

Kate Hudson has the right comedic timing to play Callie. Give her a cute brown bob and some designer stilettos and she’d be the perfect constantly flustered hair stylist who can’t keep her hands off her almost-ex.

Add a few pounds to Katherine Heigl, give her flaming red hair, and she’s Lovie. Katherine has the sassy attitude and the smart mouth for the cousin who has had more lovers than Elvis has fleas. But she’s also capable of showing Lovie’s vulnerability.

Put Goldie Hawn on the screen as Ruby Nell Valentine (Mama). Pair her with Diane Keaton as Fayrene, and you have a pair of comedic actresses who could steal the show as Callie’s flamboyant, always-in-trouble mother and her crazy sidekick who drives around in a hearse with Gas, Grits and Guts painted on the side and says things like, “I’m so tired I’ve got to go home and sit on my new sexual sofa,” or “Help, somebody call the Highway Control. That basket hound’s dug up a body.”

Whenever movie is mentioned in connection with any of my books, I always say, “I want George Clooney,” no matter what the role. But truth to tell, he would make a perfect Uncle Charlie, a sexy older man with a dangerous past. Wow! Is that not a perfect Clooney role?

Who could be Jack Jones, Callie’s drop-dead-gorgeous almost-ex with the mysterious past? If I could clone Clooney, I’d want a younger version of him for Jack. If I could get Bobby with his psychic eye and Fayrene with her séance room on the back of Gas, Grits and Guts to bring Clark Gable back, just as he looked in Gone With the Wind, I’d want him for the role.

Which actor makes you swoon? If you could pick one of the current heart-throbs from your favorite TV show or movie, who would you choose for the incredibly sexy, slightly dangerous, can’t-keep-my-hands-off-him Jack Jones? Do tell!
Visit Peggy Webb's website and Facebook page.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Barbara Freethy's "Silent Run" and "Silent Fall"

Barbara Freethy is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and women's fiction.

Here she lays out some casting preferences for the male leads in an adaptation of Silent Run and Silent Fall:
Silent Run and Silent Fall are romantic suspense novels linked by two brothers, Jake and Dylan Sanders. There are a lot of hot, young actors making great movies right now, but I really need men in these roles.

In Silent Run, Jake thinks he has it all - a loving wife, a beautiful newborn daughter - until his wife wakes up in the hospital with no memory of him - or the whereabouts of their baby. Even though he's tall and sexy with dark hair and green eyes I think it's more important an actor match his intensity and purpose in putting his family back together. For that combination of athleticism, drive and yearning, I have to pick Timothy Olyphant who embodies all these as a deputy marshal returning to home turf on Justified.

Dylan is haunted by his past, his parents' divorce and his father's hatred of him. While he wishes his brother's marriage the best, he's a lone wolf - until he has to trust a beautiful psychic to prove he's innocent of a murder that points solely to him. Like his brother, he's tall, dark and handsome but with golden brown eyes. Again, I think it's more important an actor portray vulnerability beneath his armor and trust issues. Michael Fassbender was perfect as a villain in the making with a traumatic past on X-Men: First Class, and I think he'd be perfect for Dylan.

As to the women, well, why don't I let your female readers picture themselves in that role?
Learn more about the novels and author at Barbara Freethy's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, September 23, 2011

Valerie Frankel's "It's Hard Not to Hate You"

Valerie Frankel is the author of Thin Is the New Happy and such chick lit favorites as The Accidental Virgin, The Girlfriend Curse and Hex and the Single Girl. The former articles editor at Mademoiselle, Frankel has contributed to the New York Times, O, Glamour, Allure, Self, Good Housekeeping, among many other publications.

Here she shares some ideas for casting a television movie adaptation of her new memoir, It's Hard Not to Hate You:
Since It's Hard Not to Hate You is a memoir, I cast myself in the main part when I was writing it. Since I'd already lived through the events, I could easily picture the scene—although, in some cases, it wasn't altogether pleasant to go back there. If my memoir were made into a Lifetime TV movie, I'd cast myself as someone thinner (of course). Someone funny, with grit and a bit of a naughty side to her personality. Hmmmm.

How about Kathy Griffin? She's Irish Catholic and I'm Russian Jew. But I can see it. Put a brunette wig on Kathy, and have her walk around the streets of Brooklyn Heights being royally annoyed by snobby neighbors and big umbrella carriers? Comedy gold. It'd be a hoot to see her get in a fight with a sandwich maker at Subway, or arguing with her husband at 3:00 AM. She'd be hilarious as the adolescent me, suffering through junior high with the parade of false friends (the pot head, the beauty queen, etc.).

My memoir has some hard parts, too. Life isn't always funny, unfortunately. I've seen Kathy on Law and Order. I think she could handle getting a cancer diagnosis, and sitting in a room with genetic oncologists, recommending she have a laundry list of organs removed. Even that horrible day had its share of humor, and Kathy would strike the right note between comedy and tragedy.

My husband would be played by Daniel Craig. They look alike to me (not to many others, but so what)? I'm sure Kathy would approve of Daniel as her husband, too. What a match they'd make.
Visit Valerie Frankel's website and Facebook page.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Jason Webster's "Or the Bull Kills You"

Jason Webster was born in California and was brought up in England and Germany. After spells in Italy and Egypt, he moved to Spain in 1993, where he was inspired to write a number of highly acclaimed nonfiction titles. He lives near Valencia with his wife, the flamenco dancer, Salud, and their son.

Here he shares some ideas for casting the major roles in an adaptation of his new novel, Or the Bull Kills You:
For the main character, Spanish Chief Inspector Max Cámara, this is an easy question to answer: from the very beginning, as I started writing, he appeared as an incarnation of Javier Bardem. Bardem has the same strength about him, a certain menacing presence, the look of a man who can take care of himself, yet he can also be fragile, sensitive and thoughtful - and is something of an outsider. And of course he’s Spanish.

For other characters I have to think a little. Cámara’s Anarchist grandfather, Hilario, who grows a few pots of marihuana for his grandson’s consumption, is someone close to my heart, and I think it would be difficult to see him being played by any particular actor. Perhaps an elderly James Coburn - there’s something playful, physical, worldly and other-worldly about him. Although Hilario is shorter in my mind’s eye.

And then there’s Alicia, a journalist - gutsy, sensual, earthy and a staunch defender of bullfighting. Kate Winslet, perhaps? Although she is rather ‘English’, and I wonder how comfortable she’d be with such politically incorrect views. A 40-something Ava Gardner might be a better choice...
Learn more about the book and author at Jason Webster's website and blog.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, September 19, 2011

Theresa Weir's "The Orchard"

Theresa Weir is a USA Today bestselling author of nineteen novels that have spanned the genres of suspense, mystery, thriller, romantic suspense, and paranormal; her work has been translated into twenty languages. Her debut title was the cult phenomenon, Amazon Lily, initially published by Pocket Books and later reissued by Bantam. Writing as Theresa Weir, she won a RITA for romantic suspense (Cool Shade) and the Daphne du Maurier Award  (for Bad Karma). She has also published as Anne Frasier. Her thriller and suspense titles have hit the USA Today list (Hush, Sleep Tight, Play Dead) and have been featured in Mystery Guild, Literary Guild, and Book of the Month Club. Hush was both a RITA and Daphne du Maurier finalist. Weir spent twenty years living on a working apple farm, and now divides her time between St. Paul, Minnesota, and a century-old Gothic church in rural Wisconsin.

Here she proposes multiple options for cast and director of an adaptation of her new memoir, The Orchard:
“Who’s going to play you in the movie?”

I’ve been hearing this a lot lately. Not that any movie is planned, but we can always hope and have fun putting together lists of actors and directors. The Orchard covers the years I lived on an apple farm, so the film would require a younger version of myself.

Some suggestions friends have made:

Me: Jennifer Garner and a young Mia Farrow

Uncle: Sam Shepard and Sam Elliott

Mother-in-law: A strong consensus for Meryl Streep

Here are a few of my own lists:

Dead actors and directors:

Uncle: Humphrey Bogart

Mother-in-law: Joan Crawford or Barbara Stanwyck

Me: Audrey Hepburn

Adrian: James Dean

Director: Robert Altman

(A mix of times periods here, but humor me.)

Living actors and directors:

Uncle: Philip Seymour Hoffman

Mother-in-law: Meryl Streep

Me: Hilary Swank

Adrian: James Franco

Director: David Lynch or Paul Thomas Anderson

Fun aside, this list actually looks promising, although James Franco has had too much exposure lately, so another actor would probably be better. I actually like the idea of a cast nobody has ever heard of.

Comedians or comedic actors:

Uncle: Louis C.K.

Mother-in-law: Rosanne Barr

Me: Sarah Silverman

Adrian: Paul Rudd

(The Orchard is definitely not a comedy, but casting comedians would be interesting.)
Learn more about the book and author at Theresa Weir's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Mark Lawrence's "Prince of Thorns"

Mark Lawrence's day job is as a research scientist focused on various rather intractable problems in the field of artificial intelligence. He has held secret level clearance with both US and UK governments. At one point he was qualified to say "this isn't rocket science ... oh wait, it actually is."

The Prince of Thorns, his first published novel, is the beginning of a projected trilogy following the fortunes of Honorous Jorg Ancrath.

Here Lawrence shares some suggestions for casting the lead of an adaptation of the book as well as an idea for the director:
Prince of Thorns is about one person. Jorg Ancrath is clever, amoral, prone to extravagant violence, and to cutting his way towards an efficient if bloody solution to the problems before him. Above all this he carries with him a childhood more horrific than his present.

Any film of Prince of Thorns would stand or fall on two things, first it would stand on the skill and passion of the actor portraying Jorg. Second, it would depend upon a director of sufficient insight to understand that despite the brutality this is not a shallow hack and slash book. It would require a director brave enough to give the public the film of that deeper book, rather than just the murder and mayhem the studio might believe the public wants.

Ironically, given that I’ve been asked to talk about a film adaptation, the book that directly inspired Prince of Thorns is best known because of the controversial film based upon it. Prince of Thorns was inspired by Burgess’ book A Clockwork Orange. Stanley Kubrick’s film of the book was banned in the UK for most of my adult life. I think Kubrick and McDowell might well have pulled off a good and ban-worthy version of Prince of Thorns and Jorg.

Given Jorg’s age (14 for much of the book, 10 for much of the flashback sections) a young actor is clearly required. However, young actors haven’t had much time to make an impression on me and their names rarely stick. As such I suggest since this is an exercise in imagination (I doubt one in ten thousand fantasy books is made into a film) that we merely imagine which older actor now known to us would have made a good Jorg in their younger days. Three names suggest themselves to me. Firstly Jack Nicholson for his intensity and raw crazy. Secondly Johnny Depp for his combination of depth and humour, the potential in him for threat, and the fact he has the right kind of looks. Thirdly the late lamented Heath Ledger who demonstrated many of Jack Nicholson’s talents when out-doing him in the role of the Joker, and who could also bring to the part a kind of goodness and loss that is buried very deeply in our ‘hero’.

What I would want from any of these three, and what I’m sure they could have delivered at an appropriate age, would be the ability to command each scene and just plain scare the hell out of me by letting me know they were capable of doing absolutely anything without requiring provocation. More than that though, they would need somehow to make me feel the pain they denied, to make me laugh out loud, and to make me end up rooting for them despite the evident blackness of their souls.

There are of course many lesser roles amongst Jorg’s band of brothers who run bloody riot with him. Prime amongst these are Sir Makin, The Nuban, and Rike. For whom I might suggest a younger Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn in Lord of the Rings), Djimon Hounsou (Juba in Gladiator), and perhaps Conan Stevens (Sir Gregor Clegane in A Game of Thrones) respectively.
Visit Mark Lawrence's website and blog.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Daniel Polansky's "Low Town"

About Low Town by Daniel Polansky, from the publisher:
In the forgotten back alleys and flophouses that lie in the shadows of Rigus, the finest city of the Thirteen Lands, you will find Low Town. It is an ugly place, and its cham­pion is an ugly man. Disgraced intelligence agent. Forgotten war hero. Independent drug dealer. After a fall from grace five years ago, a man known as the Warden leads a life of crime, addicted to cheap violence and expensive drugs. Every day is a constant hustle to find new customers and protect his turf from low-life competition like Tancred the Harelip and Ling Chi, the enigmatic crime lord of the heathens.
Here Daniel Polansky shares his choice of actor for the lead in an adaptation of the novel:
People in movies these days are inevitably irrationally good looking – there are very few people that can pull off playing a legitimate heavy. That's why if I was to be given a time machine and a large budget I would go back and kidnap Charles Bronson circa Once Upon a Time in the West to play the protagonist in Low Town. The Warden is an ugly, bitter, vengeful, cruel man, and I can't think of anyone to play him better than than old Chuck. That was a man who really looked like someone had rolled over his face with a truck. I love that guy.
View the Low Town trailer.

Learn more about the book and author at Daniel Polansky's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Dani Kollin and Eytan Kollin's "The Unincorporated Woman"

Dani Kollin lives in Los Angeles, California and Eytan Kollin lives in Pasadena, California. They are brothers, and The Unincorporated Woman is their third novel. Their first novel, The Unincorporated Man, won the 2009 Prometheus Award for best novel.

Here Dani Kollin lays out some casting preferences for an adaptation of The Unincorporated Woman:
Sandra O’Toole – Julianne Moore. She’s got the intensity to play the role of our decidedly complex protagonist.

Admiral J.D. Black – Angelina Jolie. Admiral Black has a unique look and persona. One half of her face is best described as being particularly beautiful. The other half, due to injuries suffered in battle, is scarred and grotesque. Admiral Black refuses to have herself surgically corrected until the war is over. It’s a reminder to herself of the awesome responsibility of her job.

Marilynn Nitelowsen – Sandra Bullock. Marilynn is a woman who emerges from the shadows of the luminaries that surround her to become one herself (much to her own discomfort). She ends up being a pivotal figure in the story.

Sebastian – Patrick Stewart. Sebastian is the head of the avatar council. He’s charged with saving his race of AI’s in the face of an unceasing enemy.

Hektor Sambianco – Robert Downey Junior. Hektor is charming, intelligent and excruciatingly evil. Enough said.
Learn more about the book and authors at Dani Kollin's blog and The Unincorporated Man website.

Writer's Read: Dani Kollin.

Writer's Read: Eytan Kollin.

The Page 69 Test: The Unincorporated War.

My Book, The Movie: The Unincorporated War.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Kelli Stanley's "City of Secrets"

The first book in Kelli Stanley's Miranda Corbie series, City of Dragons, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. It was also named one of the 2010 Top Ten Mystery Thrillers by Oline Cogdill and one of the Top Ten Best Fiction by Bay Area Authors by the San Francisco Chronicle.

Here Stanley shares some insights into casting the lead of an adaptation of her new novel, City of Secrets:
If Miranda Corbie showed up at your neighborhood multiplex tomorrow—or even on your favorite cable station—I’d like to see her played by Charlize Theron.

Charlize exudes a rare combination of beauty, strength and absolute toughness that would make her a believable Miranda. As a former model—and a beautiful woman in Hollywood—she completely understands the double-edged sword of physical attractiveness, the power and the powerlessness of being a desirable woman. There are games you have to play to survive and games you have to play to win. Charlize, like Miranda, is a winner.

Miranda uses her beauty. She recognizes it for the tool that it is, a prime benefit when dealing with people who see nothing but a face and a figure and therefore underestimate her. But she also pays a price: harassment, frustration, abuse. Unwanted attention coupled with the most devastating blow of all—loneliness.

Miranda was partially inspired by two real-life women: Martha Gellhorn, a hard-drinking, foul-mouthed, brave, beautiful and eloquent reporter (and incidentally Hemingway’s third wife), and Rita Hayworth, whose Gilda is the film noir antecedent for Miranda. Rita’s famously said that men went to bed with Gilda and woke up with her. That juxtaposition between desire and fulfillment, fantasy and reality, are part of the package beauty like hers—and Miranda’s—demands, and living with it can be more curse than blessing.

I think Charlize would understand this on both an intellectual and emotional level ... and I’d love to see her bring it forward in a portrayal of the beautiful, brittle, and cynical idealist of City of Secrets.
Learn more about the novel and author at Kelli Stanley's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: City of Dragons.

My Book, The Movie: City of Dragons.

Coffee with a Canine: Kelli Stanley & Bertie.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Helen Benedict's "Sand Queen"

Helen Benedict is the author of six novels and five books of nonfiction. Her latest novel, Sand Queen, set in the Iraq War, was published in August 2011 by Soho Press. Culled from real life stories of female soldiers and Iraqis, Sand Queen offers a story of love, courage and struggle from the rare perspective of two young women on opposite sides of a war.

Benedict's take on the challenge of casting an adaptation of Sand Queen:
When I write a novel, I think of readers more than movies, but that said, I do try to write as vividly as possible, so the reader can see the characters, the action and the setting. I’m not enough of a movie buff to know the names of specific actors, but I can say that Sand Queen would need four main young and brilliant talents: one to play a 19-year-old female soldier; one to play a 20-year-old Iraqi woman; one to play a male soldier of about the same age who is kind and in love; and one to play a sergeant in his 30s who is handsome but cruel. Suggestions welcome!
Learn more about Helen Benedict and her work at her official website.

Writers Read: Helen Benedict (July 2009).

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Simon Toyne's "Sanctus"

Simon Toyne has worked in British television for twenty years. As a writer, director, and producer, he has worked on several award-winning shows, one of which won a BAFTA. He lives in England with his wife and family. Sanctus is his first book and the first volume of the Ruin trilogy.

Here he shares some insights on casting a cinematic adaptation of Sanctus:
There is already serious movie interest in Sanctus so I feel I should tread carefully here so I don’t offend anyone who may or may not end up playing the main characters.

Sanctus has a very strong female lead and I always refer to her as my Jodie Foster character – resourceful, vulnerable, brave - but sadly Ms. Foster – for all her talent - is probably slightly too old to get away with playing a 29 year old these days. When I was writing the book I had a character document as a reference tool and I pasted pictures of various people into it to help me visualise them. These included:

Liv Adamsen – New York investigative journalist – (not Jodie) but Emily Blunt with blonde hair – I found a picture, not sure what movie from.

Gabriel – the ex-US special forces hero – either Jake Gyllenhaal or a younger John Cusack (circa Grosse Pointe Blank).

Kathryn Mann – Gabriel’s mother and head of an international aide agency with a darker side – was Monica Bellucci.

And for the baddies I went British.

The Abbot of the secretive Citadel was Sean Connery in The Name of the Rose and The Prelate was Peter O’Toole in Stardust.

Can’t beat the Brits for menace…
Learn more about the book and author at Simon Toyne's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Jenny Hubbard's "Paper Covers Rock"

Jenny Hubbard is a poet and playwright, and has taught English in both high school and college for many years. Pat Conroy called Paper Covers Rock, her debut novel, “one of the best young-adult books [he's] read in years.”

Here Hubbard shares some ideas for director and cast of an adaption of Paper Covers Rock:
When I wrote Paper Covers Rock, I never envisioned it as a film, and I saw the characters as mish-mashes of real-life people I’d encountered in my ten years teaching at an all-boys’ boarding school. Were I truly fortunate enough to be offered the opportunity to cast the movie, I would go with unknowns. But because this site's editor has invited me to play this alluring game, I’ll toss out recognizable names that breach the generation gap.

Since all well-made films start with an artful director, I'm going to be ambitious and choose Sofia Coppola for her crystal-clear vision and lyrical resonance.

The main characters in Paper Covers Rock are two seventeen-year-old boys (boarding-school preppy) and their twenty-two-year-old female English teacher (Ivy-League understated).

Alex, the soulful protagonist, might best be embodied by a younger-than-he-is-now Andrew Garfield, an actor who’s a little awkward, a little shaky. When my editor first read the novel, she pictured Joseph Gordon-Levitt. But my 14-year-old niece Elizabeth says to go with Patrick Adams.

Glenn, the athletic antagonist, needs to be a golden-haired Adonis: a teenage Steve McQueen, perhaps, or even a pre-Love Story Ryan O’Neal playing against type. But Elizabeth votes for Chris Pine.

Miss Dovecott: Mia Wasikowska for her delicate balance of fragility and strength or a 25-year-old Julia Stiles, who gets my vote every time for likeability and down-to-earth intelligence. Elizabeth’s opinion? Bonnie Wright or Emma Watson, both of Harry Potter fame.
Learn more about the book and author at Jenny Hubbard's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Brian Falkner's "Brain Jack"

Brian Falkner lives on the sunny Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia, where he writes YA novels, including The Tomorrow Code, The Project, and Brain Jack.

Here he shares some insights into the characters of Brain Jack as well as his idea for the actors who might bring them to life in a big screen adaptation:
The premise is simple. Who would I like to play the roles if my book was made into a movie?

This sounds like a fun game, I thought, and started thinking of who seemed to fit the bill of the characters as I had visualised them.

The book is Brain Jack and first up on my virtual casting couch is the main character Sam.

On the cover of the Australasian edition they portrayed him as a cool, tough, no-nonsense dude. But I never saw him like that. To me he was a geek. A bit of a klutz. Definitely not cool.

Jesse Eisenberg has been very successful in a geek role recently, but somehow he’s just not Sam to me.

So who else…

Here’s my list of the roles, with a brief description for those who haven’t read the book, and the actors who stepped into my mental casting lounge.

Sam Wilson, uber-hacker, teenager thrust into a world beyond his comprehension when he is recruited by the Department of Homeland Security. Played by Michael Cera.

“Dodge” Dodgerson, Sam’s mentor, a more experienced hacker, very talented, although lacking Sam’s natural abilities. A Brit. Played by Tom Hardy.

Vienna, another hacker, her place in the team usurped by the newcomer. A hard-as-nails rock chick from Chicago (You can take the Chick out of Chicago, but you can’t take Chicago out of the Chick!) Played by Pink.

Ranger Tyler, a hardass member of the Tactical Response Team. Too Cool for School, but still a good soldier. He sees the world in black and white but gradually comes to recognise shades of gray. Played by James Marsden.

Fargas, a bit of a doofus, but Sam’s best friend since school. Not a hacker, and completely out of his depth in the world the others are at home in. Addicted to neuro-videogames. Played by Seth Rogen.

John Jaggard, the leader of the Cyber Defense Division of Homeland Security. Played by Peter Weller.

And finally Swamp Witch, the representative from the Oversight Committee. A freak of nature, and the only hacker with the ability to keep an eye on the others. This was the only character that I did cast prior to writing the novel. Played by Madam Mim.
Visit Brian Falkner's website, blog, and Facebook page.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, September 2, 2011

Lesley Kagen's "Good Graces"

Lesley Kagen is the author of Whistling in the Dark, Land of a Hundred Wonders, Tomorrow River and Good Graces.

Here she shares her preference for director and principal cast of an adaptation of Whistling in the Dark and  Good Graces:
If I was fortunate enough to have one of my books optioned for film, hands down, I'd love Ron Howard or Steven Spielberg to direct. I write historical fiction set in the 1950's and 60's. Both of these guys have a great sense of character, and feel for this time period. They could start with my debut novel, Whistling in the Dark, or the sequel, Good Graces. I'd want two unknown girls to play the O'Malley sisters and the rest of the kids on the block. I'd love to see Ethel, who in many ways grounds the stories, played by Octavia Spencer. She did a remarkable job as Minnie in The Help. As Officer Rasmussen, the hero, I'd cast a Viking type of guy with a heart of gold. As the girls' mother, it would have to be an Irish looking lass, a young Maureen O'Hara. Being an actress, I'd love to have a bit part. Perhaps as one of the cranky church ladies.
Learn more about the book and author at Lesley Kagen's website.

Writers Read: Lesley Kagen.

--Marshal Zeringue