Friday, September 29, 2017

Brad Abraham's "Magicians Impossible"

Brad Abraham is the author of Magicians Impossible, creator of the Mixtape comic book series, screenwriter of the films Fresh Meat and Stonehenge Apocalypse, writer on the television series The Canada Crew, Now You Know, I Love Mummy, and RoboCop Prime Directives, and a journalist whose work has appeared in Rue Morgue, Dreamwatch, Starburst, and Fangoria.

Here Abraham dreamcasts an adaptation of Magicians Impossible:
I’m a screenwriter by trade; or at least that’s what people knew me and my work from (pre-Magicians Impossible anyway). When writing a screenplay it helps to have a “type” in mind for each character, as it helps give them each a distinctive voice. You may not get George Clooney or Anne Hathaway, but you want to aim for a type, if only to keep the voices separate. Naturally, when drafting Magicians I employed the same tricks of the trade. Magicians has a large cast of characters but these are the ones you’ll really want to watch closely.

I went back and forth on protagonist Jason Bishop in the early drafts, trying to figure out who he was. Then I saw Ryan Gosling in The Nice Guys and went “that’s the guy.” His Holland March is much more comedic than Jason, but there’s a quiet desperation beneath everything he does. Gosling is a real chameleon of an actor; useful skills for a magically-gifted spy.

For Jason’s father, the enigmatic Damon King, I pretty much had John Hamm in mind from the start. Suave and sophisticated one moment, explosive the next, Damon would be the next step in evolution from the man of mystery Hamm became known for; a certain Madison Ave ad exec.

The menacing Red Queen is the enigma that runs through Magicians Impossible, and like Damon, I had someone in mind from the beginning too. I’ve loved Julianne Moore’s work ever since Todd Haynes’ Safe and every word the Red Queen spoke had Julianne’s voice.

Spymaster Carter Block went through several iterations, until I finally realized I’d been writing him in Idris Elba’s voice all along. He’s such a multifaceted actor; I went through several seasons of The Wire before learning he was, in fact, British. In Magicians Carter speaks with Idris’ real-life accent, so keep that in mind when reading.

Allegra Sand, the powerful Diabolist, was more difficult to cast, because she was so fully-formed in my mind. It took a while for me to get to Jim Jarmusch’s film Paterson, but Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani captured Allegra’s essence while playing a completely different character.

In the wake of Star Wars, few need an introduction to John Boyega, but War Seer Teo Stone is based more on Moses, the character he played in the amazing sci-fi horror Attack the Block. Same attitude, same empathy, same voice. He rapidly became my favorite character to write in Magicians.

The mysterious enchanter Katja Eis was an enigma, but it wasn’t until I watched the Swedish-Danish TV series Bron/Broen (a.k.a. The Bridge) and saw Sofia Helin that I finally found her. Helin’s take on the mysterious enchanter would be something else.

For Oracle, Vasilisa Volkov, I had Irish actress Saoirse Ronan in mind from day one. She’d do a fantastic job too because she’s pretty much fantastic in everything.

As far as who directs this hypothetical movie, there’s so many directors I can think of who’d each put their personal stamp on a film based on this book – Guillermo del Toro comes to mine. But if I had to pick, I’d have to go with none other than Steven Spielberg. Not for the spectacle, but rather for the book’s central relationship between Damon and Jason; between father and son. The father-son relationship is in the DNA of so much of Spielberg’s work, I can’t think of a director better suited to material than him. And he knows spectacle.
Visit Brad Abraham's website.

The Page 69 Test: Magicians Impossible.

Writers Read: Brad Abraham.

--Marshal Zeringue