Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Jack Grimwood's "Moskva"

Jack Grimwood, a.k.a Jon Courtenay Grimwood, was born in Malta and christened in the upturned bell of a ship. He grew up in the Far East, Britain, and Scandinavia. Apart from novels, he writes for national newspapers including the Times, Telegraph, Independent, and Guardian. Grimwood is two-time winner of the BSFA Award for Best Novel, with Felaheen, and End of the World Blues. His literary novel The Last Banquet was shortlisted for Le Prix Montesquieu 2015.

Here Grimwood dreamcasts an adaptation of Moskva, his first thriller:
I think Casablanca era Humphrey Bogart for Tom Fox. Either that or early Bond Daniel Craig. Both have the cynicism and the damage and the need to do the right thing, at war with a wish for the world to leave them alone.

The Tom Hiddleston from Only Lovers Left Alive for Dennisov. Just the right mixture of dangerous, charming and barking mad for an alcoholic, ex special forces, son of a Soviet general. The CGI guys could probably have fun with his artificial leg made from a helicopter spring too.

I know everyone thinks of him as Hagrid from Harry Potter but Robbie Coltrane would make a good Russian mafia boss and I can really see him as Beziki, sitting half naked in his private sauna, knowing he has to go to war with the Soviet Politburo and understanding how hard a battle that is to win.

Wax Angel is hard to cast. She's strong and fierce and absolutely pivotal to the whole story. In my head, thinking about it now, she has to be Maggie Smith in full on Professor McGonagall mode.

Beetlejuice era Winona Ryder for Alex Masterton on the run in Moscow and only slowly realising how much trouble she's made for herself. Elisabeth Moss for her mother, Lady Masterton. She's younger than her husband, had Alex early, and she's fighting the demands of being a diplomat's wife and the having had to put her own life on hold.

Lady Caro Fox has to be Keira Knightley, playing a great great descendant of the part she played in The Duchess. Brittle and complex but nothing like as unsympathetic as she first appears. Her and Tom's daughter, Becca, is only ever seen in flashback, and is almost an unknown to everyone except her little brother, so I feel she should be played by an unknown.

Finally, General Dennisov needs to be played by Anthony Hopkins at his most deliciously depraved and twisted. An elderly Hannibal Lecter from Silence of the Lambs wasn't in my head when I wrote the character but he should have been.
Visit Jack Grimwood's website.

--Marshal Zeringue