Thursday, May 2, 2013

JoeAnn Hart's "Float"

JoeAnn Hart lives in Gloucester, Massachusetts, America's oldest seaport, where fishing regulations, the health of the ocean, and the natural beauty of the world are the daily topics of wonder and concern. She is the author of the novels Addled, a social satire that intertwines animal rights with the politics of food, and the recently released Float.

Here she dreamcasts an adaptation of Float:
A few months ago I participated in The Next Big Thing Project, a web-based chain letter where a writer is tapped to answer some questions on what they’re working on and then posts it on their blog, tapping a few other writers to answer those same questions on theirs. One of the questions was: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? My novel, Float, a work of eco-fiction, is set in coastal Maine. The protagonist is Duncan Leland, who is separated from his wife Cora, his anchor. Financially, he is underwater with his business, a fish waste processing plant, and emotionally, well, he’s living back at home with his mother, who hasn’t left the house in ten years. That sums up his mental state. The plot is driven by jellyfish and plastics in the ocean. This is who I envisioned playing these characters back in the fall:

Colin Farrell for Duncan; Minnie Driver for Cora; Meryl Streep for his crazy mom. Phillip Seymour Hoffman for Osbert, the mysterious financier, and Frances McDormand for Josefa, the seagull rescue character. Will Ferrell for Slocum, the slightly deranged chef.”

Sorry, Colin, love ya, but you’re getting the ax. It was a total miscast. Nothing personal, it’s just showbiz. The part of Duncan is going to Hugh Jackman. Jackman’s got the goofiness for Duncan, as well as the necessary gravitas. Minnie Driver is still my choice for Cora, because I saw Driver in The Riches series with Eddie Izzard and I think she makes a great aggrieved wife without being pathetic. What a cute couple she and Jackman will make! Colin, even you have to agree that’s true.

If Hoffman, McDormand and Ferrell are tied up in other productions, then we wait until they’re free. No substitutions. But if we’re in a pinch, Candice Bergen can substitute for Streep. I forgot to cast Nod, Duncan’s brother. Poor Nod. I say it goes to Casey Affleck, who is used to playing the other brother. Another key player I forgot about was Annuncia, the Green Fish activist at Duncan’s company. Kirstie Alley gets that one hands down. Don’t lose any more weight just yet, Kirstie!

Chandu, the Newfoundland dog, the same breed as Nana in Peter Pan, will be played by a shelter dog, who will be dramatically rescued just hours before being euthanatized and there will just happen to be the crew of “The Making of Float, the Movie” filming this tender moment. Chandu will go on to be one of the great canine stars of all time, and after a lengthy career at Disney, will retire to my house.
Learn more about the book and author at JoeAnn Hart's website, blog, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: JoeAnn Hart and Daisy.

The Page 69 Test: Float.

--Marshal Zeringue