Sunday, April 14, 2013

Stefan Bachmann's "The Peculiar"

Stefan Bachmann is a writer and musician. He was born in Colorado and now lives with his family in Zurich, Switzerland, where he attends the Zurich Conservatory. He began writing his acclaimed novel The Peculiar in 2010, when he was sixteen years old.

Here Bachmann shares some ideas for adapting The Peculiar for the big screen:
I remember the very first time I spoke to my editor on the phone, before The Peculiar had even sold, and she and my agent were like, "Now, Johnny Depp will play Mr. Jelliby, and Tim Burton will direct, and Danny Elfman will write the music, and Michael Bay will produce, and it will be great."

And I was like, "Uhhh."

Shockingly, neither Johnny Depp or Tim Burton probably even knows this book exists, but whatever. If they were to make the movie, I would be happy. I love Tim Burton's Corpse Bride, the updated Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which most people seem to hate (Whyyy, people, it's so much fun... ), and the Gothic visuals in Sleepy Hollow. Burton and Deep are kind of the cliché pairing for vaguely creepy Victorian children's stories, but I think they would be great for this one. Johnny Depp doesn't really look at all the way I imagine Mr. Jelliby. It's Johnny Depp, though, so that's ok.

If for some unconscionable reason they didn't want to do it, Joe Wright would be awesome, too. I like basically all of his movies. They have a really great visual flair.

Bartholomew, the tragic half-faery, half-human who sets off on an adventure to solve the murders of other half-bloods (who are found floating in the rivers covered in red markings) could be played by Asa Butterfield. He might be a bit old now, but he was good in Martin Scorsese's Hugo.

The Lady in Plum, a beautiful villainess with a dark past and a sad secret, really only has about three sentences of dialogue in the entire book, so she could be played by anyone who is very tall.

As for John Wednesday Lickerish, the faery politician and main antagonist, I have no idea who would play him. He would need to be so plastered up with so much makeup and prosthetics and pointy ears, and a skull cap so that he looks bald, that whoever played him would be unrecognizable anyway. As long as his voice is windy and dark, I don't even care. He could be CGI.

And since I'm a music student and a little bit obsessed with these things, the score should be written by Dario Marianelli of Atonement / Brothers Grimm / Anna Karenina fame. Or Danny Elfman. Danny Elfman would be cool, too.
Learn more about the book and author at Stefan Bachmann's website and blog.

--Marshal Zeringue