Saturday, May 11, 2013

David Walton's "Quintessence"

David Walton won the 2008 Philip K. Dick Award for his debut novel, Terminal Mind.

Here he dreamcasts an adaptation of his latest novel, Quintessence:
I will assume, for the sake of argument, that I have godlike casting power, that the proposed Quintessence movie is expected to be so popular that there are no budget limits, and that any actor would jump at the chance to get a part.

For Christopher Sinclair, the alchemist and explorer obsessed with immortality, the choice is easy: Russell Crowe. Crowe can play any role well, but this is just the sort of character he does perfectly: intelligent, tormented, fixated on an impossible goal. Sinclair drives the plot of the story, and whether he's a hero or a villain is not always easy to decide.

Stephen Parris is a physician whose son has died, despite his best efforts to save him, driving him to perform secret human dissections to understand the body. He's British, aristocratic, and capable of obsession in his own right. For Parris, I nominate Hugh Jackman -- think of his role in The Prestige rather than X-Men.

Finally, there's Parris’s teenage daughter, Catherine: strong-willed, clever, independent, and longing to redefine the role society has cast for her. I have a lot more trouble with this one, since it would necessarily need to be someone young, and thus not very well known yet. Someone with the intensity Jennifer Lawrence showed in The Hunger Games, only younger. And British.

In all, though I doubt it will ever be made, I think Quintessence would make a great movie: beautiful locales, action on the open water, period costumes, giant sea monsters, loathsome villains, and young romance. Sounds like a blockbuster to me!
Learn more about the book and author at David Walton's website.

Writers Read: David Walton.

The Page 69 Test: Quintessence.

--Marshal Zeringue