Sunday, August 19, 2018

Gina Wohlsdorf's "Blood Highway"

Gina Wohlsdorf’s first novel, Security, was chosen as an Amazon Best Book of 2016.

Here the author dreamcasts an adaptation of her new novel, Blood Highway:
If Sofia Coppola directed Blood Highway the film, I could die happy. The best adaptation from book to movie I’ve ever seen — bar none — is The Virgin Suicides. That novel was friggin’ impossible to put to the screen: first-person plural narrator, disjointed timeline, thematic complexity that seemed beyond the reach of visual images. Coppola did the impossible, and then some. People will call this sacrilege, but I’m saying it: the movie might be even better than the book. And I do not remotely mind being bested by the best.

Taissa Farmiga is Rainy. That’s it, the end, cut, print, check the gate. I’ve been working on this story for fifteen years. You better believe I had my eyes open the whole time for an actress who could nail this part. For a decade, there was nobody. Then I rented The Bling Ring (directed by Sofia Coppola), and there’s a scene in that movie where Taissa Farmiga’s character is playing with a gun in her boyfriend’s bedroom. My mouth fell open, my tears welled up, and I said, out loud: “Jesus Christ, that’s her.”

For Blaine, we’d need somebody who could do a lot with a little. It would be such an easy role to do as stock beefcake, but that’s not what Blaine is. I was super-impressed with Theo James in Divergent, because he could have played Four as the Hot Fighting Instructor and he didn’t. He used every line, every movement and every moment to maximize his character’s impact. And he dug. That scene toward the end when Four confronts his abusive father in a simulation — James didn’t overdo it, didn’t under-do it. Very contained, very measured, very intentional. He would bother to find the broken-hearted kid behind Blaine’s badass exterior. (Though how we make him look bland in any way, I don’t know. We’ll probably need the Benjamin Button makeup people.)

Sam’s where we get to have a little fun. He’s supposed to have the body of the Incredible Hulk, but I’m flexible on that as long as the actor can convey size, strength, excess. Sam Rockwell would kill it. He has a scary charisma that can go either way, nice or wicked-mean or both, back and forth and back again. Michael Fassbender would make it intriguing. I had David Duchovny in mind when I first wrote the character, and I thought of Bruce Willis a few years later — a sly smile that draws you in, a wall behind the eyes that keeps you out.

And I have a secret fantasy where I somehow get my acoustic cover of “The Chain” on the soundtrack — just me and a piano, soft and raw, fading to nothing on the final note.
Visit Gina Wohlsdorf's website.

My Book, The Movie: Security.

--Marshal Zeringue