Monday, May 14, 2018

Stacey Filak's "The Queen Underneath"

Stacey Filak was born in a small town in Michigan, where she dreamed of hero's quests, epic battles, and publishing a book. At least a couple of things have come true. She lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan, with her husband and four children, and a menagerie of pop-culture named pets. She manages a veterinary clinic as her day job and aspires to someday write something that means as much to someone else as her childhood favorites mean to her.

Here Filak dreamcasts an adaptation of her new novel, The Queen Underneath:
The Queen Underneath takes place in the city-state of Yigris, the smallest of four nations on an island called The Four Winds. The population of Yigris is varied and diverse, and so would be the cast of a movie version of it.

To play Gemma, the fierce but feminine leader of Under, the home of thieves, assassins, pirates, and sex-workers, I would cast Frankie Adams. Ever since I first saw Ms. Adams on The Expanse T.V. show, she has been my ideal for this leading character. Her confidence, charisma, and presence – both physical and personality-wise – make her a perfect fit.

In the role of Tollan, the naïve and untested King of Above, I would love to see John Boyega. This young actor has already shown his ability to be both strong and funny, and I think he has the emotional range to really bring Tollan to life.

Playing Elam, a sex priest of Under and Gemma’s best friend, I would cast Dev Patel. Physically, he fits the description of Elam, and I’ve admired his acting chops for years. I also think that he would bring the maturity and emotional grounding to the cast that Elam brings to the book. While Gemma is at the center of the action, Elam is the heart of the book, and he is the link between the two worlds.

In the role of Devery, Gemma’s lover and a master assassin, I’d cast Jaime Bell. Not only does he have the right look – slender, wiry, and the perfect cold expression of distaste – he also has proven himself to be capable of filming some pretty graceful fight scenes, and has a biting wit, all of which any actor to play Devery would need.

While those are the four main characters, I couldn’t help but cast my three favorite supporting characters as well. In the role of Wince, Tollan’s wise-cracking best friend and constant companion, I would cast Jorge Lendeborg, Jr. Hot off his appearances in Spiderman: Homecoming and Love, Simon, this young actor has shown his range through both serious and hilarious scenes, and I really love the sense of kinship that he projected with his friends in both films.

As Lian, a maid from Under, I would cast Ruth Negga. The beautiful Negga would need to be aged with makeup, but I think she would bring a depth to the character, a hard-edge to a seemingly soft character that perfectly fits my vision of Lian.

And finally, in the role of Fin the Fish, I would cast Dave Bautista. A Balklander, Fin is a man that is said to be descended from sharks. Smooth-skinned, sharp-toothed, and huge, I’d love to see Bautista bring Fin to life. While he appears to be a vicious character, Fin has a softness to him that he only shows to those closest to him, and after seeing what Bautista has done with Drax the Destroyer, I think he would be a tremendous addition to the movie.

So while I doubt that I’ll ever have the opportunity, I’ve got the perfect cast all lined up in my mind. I’m just waiting for Hollywood to hand them the script.
Visit Stacey Filak's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Queen Underneath.

Writers Read: Stacey Filak.

--Marshal Zeringue