Thursday, May 7, 2020

John Farrow's "Roar Back"

John Farrow is the pen name of Trevor Ferguson, who has written numerous novels and plays, all to extraordinary acclaim. His Émile Cinq-Mars crime series has been published around the world and cited by Booklist as "one the best series in crime fiction today," while Die Zeit in Germany suggested that it might be the best series ever.

Here Farrow shares some insights about the above-the-line talent for an adaptation of Roar Back, the newest novel in the Émile Cinq-Mars series:
Having had one feature made from a novel of mine (The Timekeeper), been the story director on another (Uvanga), having had other novels in development, and having had several plays produced, I know that casting and the choice of director is out of the writer’s whimsy. I take the monies and I runs. (I feel a rant coming on but shall nip that in the bud.) Casting my principal detective, Émile Cinq-Mars, is both easy and difficult. He’s younger in Roar Back than in other novels, so it would not be hard to find a tall, dark, handsome, strong individual to fit one part of the physical description, and many a fine actor would love to play a solitary cop who uses his brains yet possesses brawn, and who sticks to his moral code while those around him slide into slime. Secondary aspects are more difficult — I know because we’ve tried in the past. Gargantuan nose. Speaking English with a French accent. Having identifiable French-Canadian facial features with a suggestion of First Nations heritage. Still, if wee Tom Cruise can play six-foot-six Jack Reacher, accommodations can be made.

Martin Scorsese ought not to be the director, it’s best if someone acquainted with the milieu of Montreal did that, but what a wonderful casting agent he’d be. He’d be adept at getting the right faces for the Russian mobsters, the Hells Angels and ageing Mafioso, even local cops and FBI. Also, the juvenile toughs. He’d put the right art people in place to give them all the right look, and that would be critical for this menagerie of hoodlums and innocents, enforcers and those willing to stand against them. Then again, maybe it should be Scorsese.
Visit John Farrow's website and Trevor Ferguson's Facebook page.

The Page 69 Test: Roar Back.

Q&A with John Farrow.

--Marshal Zeringue