Saturday, February 8, 2014

M.L. Brennan's "Iron Night"

M.L. Brennan's first novel, Generation V, was published in 2013 from ROC Books, and is a work of urban fantasy. Its sequel, Iron Night, was published January 7, 2014. The third book in the series is Tainted Blood and will be available in November 2014.

Here Brennan dreamcasts an adaptation of Iron Night:
With one exception, I’ve never been the kind of writer who goes into a project with a cast of actors in mind to represent the characters. My characters tend to be a bit more of a collage of reference points that help me pinpoint attitude and outlook – for example, one of my characters, Suzume Hollis, was formed from one slow-motion strut into battle that I saw Laurie Jupiter (played by Malin Akerman) perform in Watchmen. But when it comes to my book Iron Night, I’ve had the opportunity to work with most of these characters for a while now, so this actually was much easier to do than I had ever expected.

My main character, Fortitude Scott, is the unlikeliest slacker vampire imaginable, a disappointment to his family, who isn’t a tough action hero, but as close to an everyman as possible. To play him I would choose Zachary Levi, who played the fish-out-of-water unwilling spy in Chuck. To play Fort’s older brother Chivalry, definitely Benedict Cumberbatch in Star Trek: Into Darkness fitness level – I think the physical dichotomy between the two would perfectly express all of their underlying differences. Fort’s sociopathic older sister Prudence would be played by Nicole Kidman, who is both the right age for the part and also capable of the right level of inhuman creepiness and coldhearted calculation. The matriarch of this vampire family is Madeline Scott, whose terrifying nature is hidden behind a veneer of dotty old lady, and who else could best capture that than Dame Maggie Smith?

That takes care of my vampires. Fort’s best ally, tormenter, and best friend is the dangerous prankster kitsune Suzume Hollis – this was probably the casting choice that took me the longest, and it’s not perfect, but Rinko Kikuchi (of Pacific Rim and Brothers Bloom) might have the range and physical toughness. This is the second book in my series, and there are some new characters, notably the half-elf Lilah who gets pulled in way over her head as she finds herself torn between family loyalty and justice – that part would be perfect for Kristen Connolly, who could probably just copy and paste her approach to Cabin in the Woods. There’s also a new and dangerous foe in this book, probably one of the creepiest I’ve written, and another character who hides a deadly nature beneath a deceptive façade – Soli would be a perfect character for Sofia Vergara of Modern Family.

That leaves just the humans – Fort’s roommate Gage is only in the book for a chapter until he is horribly murdered (I’m not giving away spoilers, it’s on the back!) but his inherent decency and friendship with Fort is one of the engines behind this book as Fort puts himself in danger to try and get justice for his friend. Gage would only be on screen for fifteen minutes at the most, but who better to play him than Chris Hemsworth (mostly known from Thor, but for Gage I think the best reference is his performance in Cabin in the Woods). And last but not least is the one character who was always based on an actual actor – grizzled private investigator Matt McMahon has doggedly been investigating the deaths of Fort’s foster parents for over a decade, unaware that Fort has been keeping the truth from him for his own safety, and completely in the dark about the things that go bump in the night. Jason Beghe played Mike Royce, Detective Beckett’s training officer, on an episode of Castle, and has always been my model for Matt McMahon.
Visit M.L. Brennan's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

The Page 69 Test: Iron Night.

--Marshal Zeringue