Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Kelly Oliver's "Jackal"

Kelly Oliver is the award winning (and best-selling in Oklahoma) author of The Jessica James Mystery Series. Her debut, Wolf: A Jessica James Mystery, won the Independent Publisher’s Gold Medal for best Thriller/Mystery, was a finalist for the Foreward Magazine award for best mystery. Her second novel, Coyote won a Silver Falchion Award for Best Mystery. And, the third, Fox was a finalist for both the Claymore Award and Silver Falchion Award. Jackal just came out.

When she’s not writing novels, Oliver is a Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University.

Here Oliver dreamcasts Jackal, A Jessica James Mystery:
I once imagined twenty-something Jessica James, the titular character of the series, played by Jennifer Lawrence or Emma Watson because they both are spunky young heroines. Now, at only 28, somehow Jennifer Lawrence feels too old—maybe because she’s won so many awards and played more mature roles.

So for Jackal, the latest installment in the Jessica James Mystery series, I’m thinking of Saorise Ronan, a fantastic actress who proved her comic chops in Lady Bird, where she was smart-mouthed (like Jessica) but also vulnerable. And in Brooklyn she was self-sufficient, strong and lovely. Hanna is my favorite. She played a genetically engineered badass. Talk about girl power!

I still like Emma Watson because along with being a great actress, she’s a feminist and she has a book club. You gotta like an actress with a book club! Okay, I’m rethinking Jennifer Lawrence too. I just read that she’s dedicated her year off from acting to a grassroots anticorruption campaign. Go JenLaw.

Mackenzie is one of my favorite characters in Jackal (and in the series). She is a dreamer but tough as nails. She goes to Vegas to join Cirque du Soleil and ends up working as an exotic dancer. She is sexy but also sweet. I’m thinking the former Disney star Selena Gomez fits that bill. She’s incredibly charismatic and sexy but also seems like a sweetheart. Like McKenzie, she is gorgeous but could play someone a little naïve.

Leo Spencer is a rookie detective haunted by his past. I’m thinking 13 Reasons Why star (another former Disney kid) Ross Butler would do a great job. He’s cute and sexy and just looks like a nice guy. At the same time, in his acting, he can go deep and dig into the emotional turmoil of a tragic childhood. I’m also impressed that he is committed to changing stereotypes of Asian actors in Hollywood. Hey, Ross, let’s make Jackal into a movie and bust some stereotypes!

Leo’s partner Terrance is a master of disguise and an expert undercover cop. Terrance is hard on the outside but a softie on the inside. Donald Glover, who played the young Lando Calrissian in Solo: A Star Wars Story, and went viral with his latest Childish Gambino video, would be perfect. He’s handsome, smart, and charming. He’s got the quick wit and sexy twinkle in his eyes that could con the best of the bad guys. Better yet, Donald is committed to social justice. Tackling contemporary social issues in entertaining ways is dear to my heart. I think Donald would make a very cool Terrance aka GQ.

As for Mazzi Honey Bunny, McKenzie’s Parti Yorkie purse dog, let’s borrow Jack from Hilary Duff’s menagerie of rescued animals. Hilary fundraises for animal shelters and says animals teach people “responsibility, kindness, and respect.” Hear, hear, Hilary.

Three Millennials, Two Family Mysteries….and One Parti Yorkie.

Wow, with a cast like this, Jackal would be a blockbuster.
Visit Kelly Oliver's website.

My Book, The Movie: Wolf.

--Marshal Zeringue