Friday, March 23, 2018

Damian Dibben's "Tomorrow"

Damian Dibben is the creator of the internationally acclaimed children's book series the History Keepers, translated into 26 languages in over 40 countries. Previously, he worked as a screenwriter, and actor, on projects as diverse as The Phantom of the Opera and Puss in Boots and Young Indiana Jones. He lives, facing St Paul's Cathedral, on London's Southbank with his partner Ali and dog Dudley.

Here he shares some ideas about the above-the-line talent for a big screen adaptation of his new novel, Tomorrow:
My background is in screenwriting, having worked in the UK and Hollywood for ten years before I started writing novels. (Actually my first book, The History Keepers, was originally intended as a screenplay & when it was completed, Working Title bought the movie rights) That said, Tomorrow may just be un-filmable. It is filmic certainly, taking in an epic sweep of history from the reign of Elizabeth I of England, through the gruesome wars of the 17th century, Versailles, the golden age of Amsterdam and up to nineteenth century Venice, but it is also narrated by a dog and his voice, its reflective, philosophical quality is vital to the power of the story.

Of course, having originally been an actor too, I always think of casting. I would hold open auditions for the two principal dogs of the story, 'I' & 'Sporco', - the latter an endearingly eccentric stray from the alleyways of Venice - but the equally important human characters of 'the Master' and 'Vilder', both middle-aged but immortal, would provide great opportunities for two heavyweight British actors. 'The Master' would be Daniel Day Lewis, if he could be coaxed out of retirement. He would bring gravitas to this honourable, brave, but flawed gentleman. Colin Firth would do an excellent job too. 'Vilder' needs to have an altogether more dangerous, unpredictable edge and I would cast either Ralph Fiennes or Gary Oldman. (All four you'll note are Academy best actor winners.)

As far as directors are concerned, to tackle the tricky balance of epic, historical sweep and distinct narrative voice, it would need to be a visionary of the likes of Ang Lee (who did such a great job of another un-filmable book, The Life of Pi) or Guillermo del Toro. Personally I would never have started writing stories if it were not for the early films of Spielberg. The way he brought together real life, fantasy and profound emotion in films such as E.T. would make him an ideal choice.
Visit Damian Dibben's website.

--Marshal Zeringue