Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Patricia Bracewell's "Shadow on the Crown"

Patricia Bracewell grew up in California where she taught literature and composition before embarking upon a writing career.

Here she dreamcasts an adaptation of her recently released first novel, Shadow on the Crown:
With Game of Thrones on HBO and Vikings on the History Channel, Medieval seems to be all the rage right now. In thinking about a film of Shadow on the Crown, which is set in 11th century England, it’s hard not to be drawn to actors who I’ve seen already dressed for the part and ready to go!

That being said, I’ve tried to think outside of that box, just a little. In the role of Emma of Normandy I would cast Mia Wasikowska, who starred in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland in 2010 and in Jane Eyre in 2011. She appears vulnerable at first, but she also demonstrates a core of steel that is absolutely necessary for the character of Emma.

I find myself stuck inside that Medieval box, though, with the casting of Æthelred. Sean Bean, no question about it. I’m a huge fan of his work, from the Sharpe series through Patriot Games to Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. He’s played good guys and bad guys, and sometimes a poignant combination of both. Can he do dark and haunted? Let’s find out!

And then there is Elgiva – the girl we love to hate. She is beautiful, alluring, and delightfully nasty. Although television watchers have seen actress Jessica Findlay most recently as darling Sybil in Downton Abbey, I think she could do naughty just as well as she does nice. She would make a terrific Elgiva.

The casting of Athelstan is probably the most difficult for me. The king’s eldest son, he is restless, frustrated, thwarted by his father at every turn. All of his restlessness, though, comes from a need to prove himself while he waits in the wings as heir to the English throne. There is an innocence about Athelstan that makes him too honorable to scheme for what he wants, and that quality of innocence has me thinking that  Eddie Redmayne might be a good choice for the role. I’ve seen him in plenty of costume dramas – his work in Pillars of the Earth and Black Death strikes that Medieval note again – but I’ve never seen him with a beard! He’s co-starred with Sean Bean before and I think they’d make a good father/son team – lots of conflict!
Learn more about the book and author at Patricia Bracewell's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Shadow on the Crown.

Writers Read: Patricia Bracewell.

--Marshal Zeringue