Monday, April 8, 2019

Randy Overbeck's "Blood on the Chesapeake"

Randy Overbeck is a writer, educator, researcher and speaker in much demand. During his three plus decades of educational experience, he has performed many of the roles depicted in his writing with responsibilities ranging from coach and yearbook advisor to principal and superintendent. His new ghost story/mystery is Blood on the Chesapeake. As the title suggests, the novel is set on the famous Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay, home to endless shorelines, incredible sunsets and some of the best sailing in the world. Blood is first in a new series of paranormal mysteries, The Haunted Shores Mysteries.

Here Overbeck dreamcasts an adaptation of Blood on the Chesapeake:
The producer who lands the movie rights for Blood on the Chesapeake will discover very fertile cinematic ground. Complex and layered characters of different ages, breathtakingly beautiful settings of small seaside towns, and scenes upon the majestic Chesapeake Bay that are sometimes tranquil and picturesque and other times terrifying and harrowing, will combine to make the movie version compelling and memorable. Throw in the eerie quality of the ghost story and the puzzle that viewers get to unravel along with our heroes and you have the potential for successful moviemaking. Even the demographics are right for film audiences. The story features two heroic couples, one in their teens and a second in their twenties, both struggling against the status quo. For good measure, there is even another pair of good guys, a couple in their forties. And perhaps, most important, the story at the core—the tragedy of racial injustice—is as real and raw today as it was in the earlier decades depicted in the narrative.

Ah, but all of this begs the question, where would you find such a broad cast to pull off this cinematic accomplishment? I’ve seen my share of movies—though I must confess I usually prefer the book version—but I’m no expert. Still, I take a stab at playing casting director.

For Darrell Henshaw, our flawed but focused ghost hunter and protagonist (not to mention high school teacher and football coach) I think I’d tap Logan Lehman. He can pull off the almost handsome look of Darrell and has shown the range to be able to capture both Darrell’s terrors and triumphs. His partner, Erin Caveny, would be played by Brie Larson, provided her screen time won’t be monopolized by the Avengers movies. She already demonstrated she can pull off the tough, but tender role Erin plays in the story. For Al and Sara McClure, I had fun in choosing Matt LeBlanc and Juliette Lewis. Matt is a logical choice for the wise-cracking Al and Juliette is a good fit for the steady Sara. (Yes, I realize Juliette often plays darker characters, but her work is evidence of the range she would need for the role of Sara.)

For the teens in the story, selecting actors was a little more challenging. After some consideration and some help, I’d tap Molly Caitlyn Quinn for the young Kelly, her Irish heritage and red hair giving her an advantage. For Hank, I’d send a casting call to the young British actor, John Boyega, who is, like Hank, black, quite large and handsome, and can act well without talking.

No casting effort can be complete with finding great talent for the antagonists. For the trio of Williams, Dr. Remington and Officer Brown, I’d select the gifted character actors of Richard Roxburgh, Stacy Keach and John Goodman.

I know, all together, considerable star power.
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Writers Read: Randy Overbeck.

--Marshal Zeringue