Thursday, August 16, 2012

David Cristofano's "The Exceptions"

David Cristofano has earned degrees in Government & Politics and Computer Science from the University of Maryland at College Park and has worked for different branches of the Federal Government for over a decade. He currently works in the Washington, D.C. area where he lives with his wife, son and daughter.

Here Cristofano shares some ideas for cast and director of an adaptation of his new novel, The Exceptions:
The movie rights to my first novel, The Girl She Used to Be, a story about a woman lost in the Federal Witness Protection Program, were sold to Mark Johnson's Gran Via Productions (The Notebook, My Sister’s Keeper) and Julie Lynn's Mockingbird Pictures (Albert Nobbs, The Jane Austen Book Club) with Laeta Kalogridis (Shutter Island, Avatar) adapting the story. Since my new novel, The Exceptions, retells the story from the point of view of the young mafioso assigned to gun her down, the discussion of who would play the lead roles in both stories has come up with great regularity in my household over the last few years.

For Melody Grace McCartney, the witness, there are some wonderful choices in the film world. The actress needs to be able to pull off feistiness, a quick wit, and -- oddly enough -- an ability to look good with increasingly shorter hair as the movie progresses. Rachel McAdams would be on my short list, as would Jessica Chastain. Others have suggested Ellen Page could pull it off, and I agree. But I think the ultimate choice, if the decision could be made today, would be to tap Carey Mulligan for the role. Her performances in An Education, Drive, and Never Let Me Go were simply outstanding.

Jonathan Bovaro, the mafioso, is a tougher slot to fill, for "mob roles" in general lean to a certain look, and indeed I had hoped a new "undiscovered" actor might be selected to play the part. That said, there are few A-listers that come to mind. James Franco has come up before, and I agree he could pull off the mafia-related scenes with ease. Matthew Goode of Leap Year fame could also do the role justice. And though he doesn't closely resemble a mafioso in any way, who wouldn't love to see Ryan Gosling pound some thug into submission and get away with the girl? But overall, my top pick would be Chris Evans. He fits the bill: taller than average (over six feet), gravelly smoker-type voice, and capable of both onscreen violence and tenderness. Best known for his role as Captain America, I much prefer his performances in Puncture, Push, Cellular, and What's Your Number?

And then there's the direction. While my favorite directors include David Fincher and Christopher Nolan -- I am a guy, after all - I'm not sure either would be spot on for directing The Exceptions. On the other hand, Andrew Niccol (you had me at Gattaca) would be a top choice, a director who knows how to encapsulate a couple on the run with the urgent intimacy that can arise, as he did so well with In Time. The ideal director would be one who could capture the emotional tension of people on the run (Luc Besson's masterwork, The Professional, comes to mind), with the beauty that can be found in the strangest, darkest places (like with Brad Silberling's direction of City of Angels).

Put those pieces together and there's a movie to be proud of!
Learn more about the book and author at David Cristofano's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Girl She Used to Be.

--Marshal Zeringue