Wednesday, September 26, 2012

David Rich's "Caravan of Thieves"

David Rich has sold screenplays to most of the major studios, and to production companies in the U.S. and Europe. He wrote the feature film, Renegades, starring Kiefer Sutherland and Lou Diamond Philips, as well as episodes of MacGyver and other shows. He wrote three plays: The Interview, The Rescue, and W.A.R. (Women's Armed Resistance). Forsaking Los Angeles for small town Connecticut, Rich turned his attention to fiction. Caravan of Thieves, his new novel, is the result. Raised in Chicago, he received his B.A. from Tulane, spent one rainy, Withnail-esque year in Wales, and earned his M.A. in English from University of Colorado.

Here he dreamcasts an adaptation of Caravan of Thieves...and suggests a few directors for the job:
My wife claims that when I used to tell her the stories I was working on or thinking about working on I always said Jeff Bridges would be perfect for the lead. I don’t remember it that way, though, looking back, I can’t think of one role he wouldn’t have been great in. I know I thought of lots of actors at various times and thought I was writing a role that would be just perfect for so and so. Then I got to know some actors and took some acting classes myself and I found out that if I wrote a good part lots of actors could play it. Many of them are astoundingly good at their jobs. I stopped thinking of specific actors while I write; it’s too limiting.

Tommy Lee Jones would be great as Dan in Caravan of Thieves. So would Jack Nicholson. Same for Woody Harrelson. Bruce Willis, Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford: you bet. And, yes, Jeff Bridges. The list could go on and on. Dan is a charmer and these guys are all experts at turning that on. If any one of them wouldn’t be great as a conniving, charming con artist, he would have been forgotten long ago.

Rollie is tougher to cast. Colin Farrell and Ryan Gosling are both like boxers: reading their adversaries, waiting, feinting. They keep a hint of humor behind their eyes. That’s Rollie. Are there other young stars out there with a hint of Robert Mitchum or Kirk Douglas or Lee Marvin? Someone who can turn a quiet “I’m fine,” into a threat or a promise? That’s what it’s going to take: a young Jeff Bridges.

A few directors consistently deliver interesting movies. Stephen Frears can do no wrong (look it up; he’s batting close to 1000). Caravan of Thieves would be a change for him but he can handle it. Joe Wright is a master. Steven Soderbergh, David O. Russell and Ed Zwick – each one would bring something special. And then there is the fantasy choice: Clint Eastwood.
Learn more about the book and author at David Rich's website.

Writers Read: David Rich.

--Marshal Zeringue