Monday, April 30, 2012

Zoë Marriott's "Shadows on the Moon"

Zoë Marriott lives in a little house in a town by the sea, with two rescued cats, a springer/cocker spaniel known as The Devil Hound, and over 10,000 books. Her first YA novel -The Swan Kingdom, a fairytale retelling based on Hans Christian Andersen's 'Wild Swans' - was written when she was only twenty one, and published to wide critical acclaim when she was twenty-four. She has since had two more award-winning young adult fantasies published, and has five further novels scheduled for publication in the next four years.

Here she dreamcasts an adaptation of her new novel, Shadows on the Moon:
Shadows on the Moon is hard to cast because it is set in Tsuki no Hikari no Kuni, or The Moonlit Lands - a fairytale version of Japan. All the main cast are Asian, and the male romantic lead is black. Sadly, even today you don't often see young Asian or black romantic leads in Hollywood! But I would still love to see a film of this book. The lush beauty of Japan isn't celebrated on film nearly as often as it should be, and my heart would thrill to see the imaginary world I created spring to life on screen.

In order to cast Suzume - the sheltered child of a poet who transforms first into Rin, a humble, fear-stricken drudge, and then Yue, a supernaturally beautiful courtesan who is desperate to avenge the death of her family - I need to look abroad. The Japanese actress who most brings Suzume to mind is Horikita Maki. She's young and beautiful, but her face has a changeable, vulnerable quality which I think could portray my main character's broken soul perfectly.

A young British actor who might work as Otieno, the foreigner who breaks through Suzume's practised illusions with his warmth, humour and devotion is John Boyega. He impressed me very much in the British low budget horror flick Attack the Block. Even though he was playing quite a scary character - an apparently morally bankrupt inner city thug - at the end of the film, when he risks sacrificing his life to save the other inhabitants of his tower block, he truly brought tears to my eyes. The fact that he's physically stunning also helps! I think he would be wonderful, especially if he would grow his hair out into the required dreadlocks...
Learn more about the book and author at Zoë Marriott's website and blog.

Writers Read: Zoë Marriott.

--Marshal Zeringue