Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Jennifer Brown's "Life on Mars"

Jennifer Brown is the author of the young adult novels, Hate List, Bitter End, Perfect Escape, Thousand Words, and Torn Away.

Here she dreamcasts an adaptation of her first middle grade novel, Life on Mars:
My superstitious side rarely lets me indulge in if-my-book-was-made-into-a-movie fantasies, but I will admit that Life on Mars was such fun for me to write, and came to life so vividly for me, I might have occasionally thought about what it would look like on the big screen.

In my mind, Life on Mars, the movie, is something along the lines of The Goonies meets Holes meets Stand By Me, three of my favorite kid movies that all have a few things in common: an unlikely combination of comedy, gravity, quirk, and believability, with characters who are lovable and fun, and whose goals are adventurous and maybe even a bit fantastic, all woven together with an underlying thread of delicious storytelling.

Arty would need to be played by someone who can pull off smart and quirky with just a hint of rebellion hiding somewhere deep within. I imagine Sean Giambrone (The Goldbergs) or maybe Atticus Shaffer (The Middle) as Arty. Tripp really has only one job—be adorable—and I think he’s a perfect fit for future Jack Gore (The Michael J. Fox Show). Bring in Cecilia Bagalot, who was adorably spunky in Desperate Housewives, as Priya, and you’ve got what I think is a perfect Life on Mars best friend trio.

As for Cash Maddux, the movie needs someone tough and grizzled. Someone cranky and loud about it. But also someone with that little melty heart that he shows when he has to, even if he doesn’t like it. Someone that a boy could look up to, and also be afraid of. This is a role that calls for ... Ed Asner, hands-down.

And, of course, Life on Mars, the movie, would have to be a summer release, so we can all go outside afterward and pick out the constellations, and maybe even find Betelgeuse, the “armpit” star.

While I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about my books as movies, I have to admit ... scuffed Keds in summer grass, fart scenes and dog-peeing scenes, tears and sleeping bags and stars ... I suppose that’s a book-to-movie fantasy I could get into. Where’s the popcorn?
Learn more about the book and author at Jennifer Brown's website.

Read: Coffee with a Canine: Jennifer Brown & Ursula and Aragorn.

--Marshal Zeringue