Thursday, December 1, 2011

Will McIntosh's "Soft Apocalypse"

Will McIntosh is a Hugo award winner and Nebula finalist whose short stories have appeared in Asimov’s (where he won the 2010 Reader's Award for short story), Strange Horizons, and Science Fiction and Fantasy: Best of the Year, and others. His debut novel, Soft Apocalypse, was published by Night Shade Books in 2011, and his second novel, Hitchers, will be out in February, 2012. A New Yorker transplanted to the rural south, McIntosh is a psychology professor at Georgia Southern University. In 2008 he became the father of twins.

Here he writes about the actors he could see playing his characters in an adaptation of Soft Apocalypse:
Jasper. The lead has to be someone who can step outside the typical Courageous Hero role and play an average guy in an awful situation. A guy who is often scared and confused, who starts out kind of immature and is forced by circumstances to grow up. I think James Franco is the guy. He has the right look and the right emotional range to pull it off, and he seems to thrive on challenging, atypical roles.

Ange. Since Ange is based on a real person, I asked her to cast herself. She thought Angelina Jolie would be good, because, “She's a total edgy badass, but with a soft side that only gets seen by the select few closest to her.” I’m wondering if she’s too old for the part. Ange is 26 at the start, maybe 34 in her last scene. Jolie is 36. If the director balks, I’d going with Amanda Seyfried, the female lead in the new SF Thriller, In Time. I think she can play edgy badass with a soft side, and she has the right look, which means she kind of looks like the real Ange.

Rumor. Rumor is easy. Naveen Andrews, who played Sayid on Lost. Rumor is either Indian or Middle Eastern, he’s a violent Dada terrorist who is (Spoiler alert) infected with Doctor Happy and turns into a big, bright-eyed teddy bear. I have to have Naveen for this part.

Deirdre. At first I was going to give the role of edgy, foul-mouthed, manic small-time rock star Deirdre to Maggie Gyllenhaal (if she’d be willing to accept a supporting role, of course), but then, out of the blue, I got an email from a young actress named Katie Royer, and in it she wrote, “So I guess what I'm saying is, if you ever make a movie of Soft Apocalypse- cast me. If there's ever a stage adaptation- cast me. If there's ever a photo shoot for a second edition book cover, action figures, or a giant poster for your living room wall- please, at least let me audition to portray Deirdre.” I checked out her website, watched the music videos she's starred in, and, she’s better looking than Deirdre, but otherwise, damn, I can see it! She looks to have the attitude and the energy to pull it off. I’m going with newcomer Katie Royer.

Cortez. This is a tough one. There aren’t many young, well-known Latino actors. It’s a shame, because I really need a big, muscular Latino actor with a great smile. Not too good looking, but pleasant looking. If Alex Rodriquez could act (and needed the money), he might work in the role. For now, the role is open.

Phoebe. The sweater-wearing redhead who could have been a lit professor specializing in Jane Austen if not for the collapse of society will be played by British actress Emily Blunt. Phoebe isn’t British in the novel, but a crisp British accent would be a nice touch, and Blunt would be perfect for depicting someone who remains classy, doesn’t curse, and always uses proper grammar despite the dirt, starvation, and ever-rising body count in Soft Apocalypse.
Visit Will McIntosh's website.

--Marshal Zeringue