Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Emily Arsenault's "The Evening Spider"

Emily Arsenault's books include The Broken Teaglass, In Search of the Rose Notes, Miss Me When I'm Gone, and What Strange Creatures.

Here she dreamcasts an adaptation of her latest novel, The Evening Spider:
This is a fun exercise because The Evening Spider is the first book I’ve written that I can really imagine being made into a movie.

My story goes back and forth between 1879 and 2014. Two different women, both young mothers, occupy (and are somewhat haunted by) the same house in two different centuries. I think the tone of the movie will rely a lot on how Frances, my eccentric 19th century character, is played. There are moments when she might seem just slightly more crazy than eccentric. We would need an actress who could walk that line without going overboard.

When I first considered this question, Claire Danes came to mind. But I think the risk here is that Frances would just feel like a 19th century Carrie Mathison. So, perhaps a better choice would be Michelle Williams. I’ve never seen her play a character like this, but I think she could pull it off. I’d love to see Matthew Rhys, from the television show The Americans, as her brother, Henry. For her husband, I’d like someone who can play a bit of a jerk, but with a gentlemanly air. I’m thinking maybe Christian Bale.

For Abby, my main contemporary character, Ellen Page might be a good fit. She has a sort of skepticism to her that I think would work well for this bored but slightly anxious new mother.

The contemporary story also includes a sort of professorial character named Wallace—an older man from the local historical society who helps Abby answer questions about the history of her house. For some reason, Jeff Bridges feels right for this part. I know he’s not exactly “professorial,” but I think he’d help deliver some of the subtle humor I tried to put into some of Wallace’s dialogue. His good-natured presence would provide some unexpected light moments in between the darker scenes when the women contend with the house—and their demons—alone.
Learn more about the book and author at Emily Arsenault's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Broken Teaglass.

My Book, The Movie: What Strange Creatures.

--Marshal Zeringue