Monday, July 2, 2018

Christopher Ruocchio's "Empire of Silence"

Christopher Ruocchio is a graduate of North Carolina State University, where a penchant for self-destructive decision-making caused him to pursue a bachelor’s in English Rhetoric with a minor in Classics. An avid student of history, philosophy, and religion, Ruocchio has been writing since he was eight years old and sold his first book —Empire of Silence— at twenty-two.

Here the author dreamcasts an adaptation of Empire of Silence:
Fan casting is one of my favorite hobbies, so here goes:

For my hero, Hadrian Marlowe, I’d cast Harry Lloyd, perhaps most familiar to folks as Viserys Targaryen, Daenerys’s awful brother, from the first season of Game of Thrones. Even when he was playing someone as dreadful as Viserys, Lloyd managed to evoke pity from me, and I was blown away by his performance. He’s able to pull off charisma and sneering aristocratic hauteur at the same time, and he has this lovely Machiavellian quality to him that really speaks to the essence of who Hadrian is to me, and I think he deserves a crack at playing a good guy.

The xeno-archaeologist Valka Onderra might be played by Sylvia Hoeks, who played Luv in Blade Runner 2049. There was a real complexity to her performance—outward coldness masking deeper emotions only guessed at—that reminded me very much of Valka. She was also really quite scary in Blade Runner, and Valka is not unintimidating, she’s someone the technophobic Imperium thinks of as a witch, and she leans on that impression to great effect.

Lastly, for Hadrian’s tutor, Tor Gibson, I can’t think of anyone better than the Doctor himself, Peter Capaldi. He walked the line between stern gravitas and smiling grandfather really well in his time on Doctor Who, and I think he’s perfect. He doesn’t appear in the book very much, but his appearances are vitally important to Hadrian’s development as a hero, and to see him grill Hadrian in the best Socratic tradition would be a joy.

Here are some others, rapid fire: In a perfect world, I’d cast Mads Mikkelsen as Hadrian’s father, the stoic and iron-willed Lord Alistair; with Nonso Anosie as Count Balian of Emesh; Kevin McKidd as the old soldier-turned-gladiator Pallino; and maybe Miguel Silvestre for Sir Olorin. And of course, the Legion commander Raine Smythe could be none other than Ripley herself, Sigourney Weaver.

I could go on about this for pages and pages, but let’s call that a day!
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--Marshal Zeringue