Friday, March 23, 2012

Larry D. Sweazy's "The Devil's Bones"

Larry D. Sweazy's Josiah Wolfe, Texas Ranger western novels include The Rattlesnake Season, The Scorpion TrailThe Badger's Revenge, and The Cougar's Prey.

Here Sweazy shares some suggestions for casting an adaptation of The Devil's Bones, his first mystery novel:
Casting this book would be interesting. It’s a small town murder mystery that jumps back in forth in time from the present to nineteen years in the past. The narrative follows two characters, Jordan McManus, a young deputy implicated in a murder investigation, and Tito Cordova, an abducted half-white, half-Mexican, trying to find his way home to Indiana from Mexico to find out what happened to his mother, and to settle the score—so the actors would have to reflect each other in both time periods. I have always seen this as a stark, independent movie where character counts more than plot. Not that there’s not plot, there’s plenty, but first and foremost, for me anyway, this is a character novel.

So, the actors would have to be able to play to the range, I think, reflected in the novel. There are four characters that come immediately to mind, that I would love to have a say in casting: Jordan, his brother, Spider, Jordan’s ex-girlfriend, Ginny Coggins, and Tito. For Jordan, I’d could see Mark Walhberg being capable of pulling off the anger and vulnerability that he would need to inhabit Jordan’s skin. Spider would be a great role for Paul Rudd playing it serious. I love seeing actors taking a risk against type. The Devils’ Bones is no romantic comedy. Jennifer Lawrence has been a favorite since Winter’s Bone, and I have no doubt that The Hunger Games will continue her rise into the stratosphere, but this is about dreaming, after all. I think Lawrence would be perfect for Ginny because the character is far enough from the girl in poverty (Winter’s Bone), but close enough that Lawrence could differentiate the role with gusto. Gael García Bernal, of The Motorcycle Diaries and Y Tu Mamá También, would be perfect as Tito, especially the flashback scenes as he makes his way from Mexico to Indiana. García Bernal would bring the necessary authenticity to the role that it would need to have the full impact of the ending. I have no clue who would play the children. All four of these characters would have to have young teenage counterparts.

Of course, if this really were an independent movie, then we probably wouldn’t have heard of any of the actors, or the director, for that matter. And that would be just fine with me if the movie was made with care, love, and respect. Spending some time in January at Sundance would be a dream come true.
Learn more about the book and author at Larry D. Sweazy's website and blog.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Larry D. Sweazy and Brodi and Sunny.

Writers Read: Larry D. Sweazy (March 2012).

The Page 69 Test: The Devil's Bones.

--Marshal Zeringue