Friday, August 1, 2014

Emily Arsenault's "What Strange Creatures"

Emily Arsenault is the author of The Broken Teaglass, In Search of the Rose Notes, and Miss Me When I'm Gone.

Here she dreamcasts an adaptation of her new novel, What Strange Creatures:
What Strange Creatures is about a woman, Theresa, whose brother is accused of a murder. Theresa is quirky and self-deprecating and loyal. When I considered who I’d have play her, a particular actress came to mind so immediately that I going to ignore the fact that she is probably a little too old for the role now: Joan Cusack. She has just the right balance of intelligence and goofiness. I’m thinking of how entertaining she was in School of Rock. Of course, I’d probably want her to tone down the silliness just a bit for this role, since What Strange Creatures is a murder mystery and of course, consequently, some pretty tragic things happen. Still, I wrote several of Theresa’s amateur sleuthing scenes to be comedically uncomfortable for her, and I think Joan Cusack could convey that kind of humor rather well.

No actor came so immediately to mind for Theresa’s brother, but Jake Gyllenhaal comes closes to how I pictured him. Jeff is more troubled than his sister, and there is often a slight sadness and innocence to Jake Gyllenhaal’s demeanor that would probably work well in the role.

Jeff’s girlfriend Kim—the murder victim—would require an actress that conveyed youthful confidence, but with a bit of mystery—I’m thinking maybe Evan Rachel Wood?

For Theresa’s two potential love interests, let’s throw in Joaquin Phoenix as Nathan and Alexander Skarsgård as Zach. I hadn’t originally conceived of either of those characters as being so hunky as those two actors, but this is a fantasy movie, after all, and I’d like to treat the hapless Theresa (for whom I have great affection—probably more so than any of my previous narrators) to something nice.

And I’d like a cameo as the drive-thru worker when Theresa pauses in her sleuthing to buy a Wendy’s double cheeseburger to share with her dog.
Learn more about the book and author at Emily Arsenault's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Broken Teaglass.

--Marshal Zeringue