Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Rick Wilber's "Alien Morning"

Rick Wilber is an award-winning science-fiction writer, textbook author, teacher and futurist.

Here he dreamcasts an adaptation of his new novel, Alien Morning:
A few months ago we were contacted by an acquisitions editor at a major media company, about Alien Morning. Nothing has come of that initial contact (yet), but it certainly got me thinking about who might play the lead roles in a movie version of Alien Morning.

My male lead, Peter Holman, is an ex-pro second-division basketball player in Europe whose knee injuries ended his career. He’s now trying to make a go of it in media work, using a new technology called sweepcasting, which captures all the sender’s sensory input (sight, smell, sound, touch, taste) and transmits it to anyone wearing the receiver. He winds up as a kind of PR person for the aliens, and complications ensue when he discovers the job isn’t quite what he thought it would be. The movie version needs someone who can play a little basketball during the flashbacks, carry himself with the self-confident air of a professional athlete, and be ambitious, naïve, and openly emotional from time to time. Chris Pine, the new Captain Kirk, would be perfect for that role. I’ve seen photos of him playing pick-up basketball and he looks like he can play. He can certainly handle the emotional side of the character, and there are some important action scenes late in the story where could show off his action props.

The female lead is an alien shapeshifter named Heather who varies her human looks to meet the needs of the moment, from scientist to professional spokesperson to femme fatale. She’s manipulative in the service of her alien S’hudonni boss, Twoclicks, but she also seems to truly care for Peter Holman. I picture Yvonne Strahovski, from Chuck, in that role. She plays a spy in Chuck, where she has to live a “cover” life, too. That’s not too dissimilar from what Heather does in Alien Morning. Strahovski could carry it off perfectly, both physically and emotionally.

Another important character is Peter’s girlfriend, Chloe Cary. She’s a television actor who found some early success and now needs to make a comeback. She initially sees Peter Holman and his new technology as the road to the right kind of publicity, so she and Peter have a faux Hollywood romance that’s meant to be mutually beneficial in getting their names onto the right celebrity websites. Over time, Chloe goes through some major changes. By the second book of the trilogy she becomes a real-life hero, while still playing her TV role. I think Jennifer Lawrence would be perfect for that role, since it’s starlet beauty early on, and then warrior and hero by the time we’re into the second book, Alien Day.

Another central figure is Tom Holman – pardon me, Dr. Tom Holman, Ph.D. – a top marine biology researcher who has always played second-fiddle to his older brother, Peter, the basketball star and media personality who’s the pal of the newly arrived aliens. Tom has a lot of reasons to hate his brother, and he does. He becomes a leader of an angry insurgency determined to force the S’hudonni to leave Earth alone. The role calls for someone who can play a top scientist early on, then tumble into despair with the arrival of science far beyond his, and then rise to importance as a rebel insurgent doing battle with the S’hudonni aliens. My thought is that Johnny Galecki from The Big Bang Theory would be perfect for that. He can certainly play the socially inept scientist to perfection, and I’m betting he’d really get into being an action hero for the insurgency!
Visit Rick Wilber's website.

--Marshal Zeringue