Friday, September 18, 2020

Nathan Makaryk's "Lionhearts"

Nathan Makaryk is the author of Nottingham, and a theater owner, playwright, director and actor, living in southern California. None of these pay very well, so he also has a real job teaching audio systems networking software to people who have no idea he's also a novelist and theater guy. He likes dogs and scotch because of course he does.

Here Makaryk dreamcasts an adaptation of his new novel, Lionhearts (the second installment in the Nottingham series):
I’m in something of a unique position, because most of the characters in my books have already been performed! Lionhearts is a sequel to Nottingham, which I novelized from my stage play, The Legend of Robin Hood. So I was writing with very specific actors in mind, who first brought this story to life in the original theatrical production.

However, I think it would be fun to look at famous Robin Hood movie actors and see who they would be best suited to play in Lionhearts. I’ve jokingly given Lionhearts the nickname of Into the Robin-verse, as there are multiple characters who each take on the mantle of Robin Hood in their own way, which lets me tackle Robin Hood tropes from many different incarnations of the story. These aren’t all perfect comparisons, but a reader wouldn’t be far off if they made the following mental casting choices while reading the book:

Errol Flynn as Lord Robert of Huntingdon: A dashing and charming earl, who some historians argue might have been the source of the actual Robin Hood legend. Flynn’s swordsmanship is perfect for this nobleman who moonlights as a swashbuckling gentleman thief.

Cary Elwes as Alfred Fawkes: Another charismatic showman … although this suave gang leader is something closer to the Dread Pirate Roberts than the leader of the Men in Tights.

Taron Egerton as Will Scarlet: The youngest and brashest of the novel’s Robin Hoods (and not unlike the anarchist Robin we saw in the most recent movie), Egerton also has the acting chops for the manic grief that haunts Scarlet throughout the novel.

Russell Crowe as Sir Robert FitzOdo: We’d need a past-his-prime, bald Russell Crowe, but Crowe’s real-life reputation as short-tempered brawler is pretty accurate for this fallen-from-grace knight who is still trying to prove himself.

(Sorry Kevin Costner, I’m not sure there’s a role that’s right for you.)

There are also a handful of other important characters to cast who weren’t in the previous book or the original play:

Gwendoline Christie as Jacelyn de Lacy: Admittedly, Brienne of Tarth was a natural reference for this stony-faced fighter, who has forced herself into the male-dominated Guard regiment to find her uncle’s murderer.

Iain Glenn as Beneger de Wendenal: Another Game of Thrones recruit, Iain Glenn has the believability of a stern, aged fighter but also an incredible capacity for tenderness. Beneger is a broken man in the novel, who has lost all three of his sons and seeks revenge. But he should not be seen as a wicked antagonist, which is why I’d want an actor who can approach that grief from a place of love, rather than cruelty.

Millie Bobby Brown as Zinn: Stranger Things circa Season One Millie would be perfect for this cocky gang runt who gets in over her head.

And, at the risk of stealing the entire cast and crew of Game of Thrones, I’d want Miguel Sapochnik to direct, who took some of the most challenging episodes I’ve ever seen and turned them into masterpieces.
Visit Nathan Makaryk's website.

The Page 69 Test: Lionhearts.

--Marshal Zeringue