Monday, August 22, 2016

Jeff Somers's "The Stringer"

Jeff Somers is the author of the Avery Cates series, The Ustari Cycle, Lifers, and Chum (among many other books) and numerous short stories. Here he dreamcasts an adaptation of The Stringer, the latest story in The Ustari Cycle:
I don’t think about my books as films while writing; in fact it never occurs to me until someone approaches me at a reading or a convention or something, and then I have to scramble mentally to come up with a decent answer, or, sometimes, run drunkenly away, because running away is my go-to response to any stressful situation, which explains why I am always sweaty when you see me.

The Stringer is about magicians who use blood—fresh and spurting from a wound—to fuel magic spells. The more blood you shed, the more powerful your spell can be, but the use of language matters as well—skilled wordsmiths can fashion spells that use less blood for the same effect because of the efficiency of their writing. There’s action and desperation, but you also need actors who can believably convey a sort of low-rent literacy while mumbling a made-up string of words. So, here’s who I think should play the characters in The Stringer.

Lem Vonnegan: Karl Urban. Lem is a grifter at heart—a grifter with magical spells, but a grubby con man nonetheless, and Urban has the physicality for the role.

Pitr Mags: If we could genetically combine Dalip Singh and Sunkrish Bala into one enormous and enormously charismatic Indian man, that would be Pitr Mags.
Hiram Bosch: Richard Dreyfuss would own this role.

Evelyn Fallon: Strangely, I’m drawn to James Spader for this role, even though he’s not at all the right physical type or ethnicity. I can just see him biting into Fallon’s rather acerbic dialog with relish. On the other hand, Max Von Sydow is the right physical type. If I had access to the same The Fly-esque technology we used on Pitr Mags, I’d squash these two actors together and deal with the lawsuits later. And the lawsuits would be glorious.

Lurida Moret: The batty old ustari who tries to destroy civilization so magicians can terrorize everyone and be worshiped as gods, as she imagines the past was? I would offer up internal organs for Meryl Streep to play her.
Learn more about the book and author at Jeff Somers's website.

My Book, The Movie: Chum.

The Page 69 Test: Chum.

The Page 69 Test: We Are Not Good People.

My Book, The Movie: We Are Not Good People.

--Marshal Zeringue