Saturday, February 20, 2021

Marti Leimbach's "Dragonfly Girl"

Marti Leimbach is known for her bestsellers, Dying Young, made into a film starring Julia Roberts, and Daniel Isn’t Talking. She is interested in neurodiversity and has shared the stage with young inventors at the Human Genome Project (Toronto), the National Autistic Society, and the University of Oxford. Her interest in science influenced her YA thriller, Dragonfly Girl.

She teaches on the Masters Programme in Creative Writing at the University of Oxford. Dragonfly Girl is her eighth novel, but her first for young adults.

Here Leimbach dreamcasts an adaptation of Dragonfly Girl:
You never write a book expecting it to be made into a film, but I would love to see Dragonfly Girl on-screen and there’s lots about the story, such as its dynamic female lead and pacey backstory, that would make it easy to adapt.

As for my dream cast, let’s start with the guy who makes everything happen for the heroine. That’s Dr. Munn, Scientific Director of the Mellin Institute, where Kira figures out how to bring a lab rat back to life. He’s a forever-young older man with a wicked intelligence and a commanding presence. I’m thinking Bill Nighy, one of my favourite actors and the only actor whose movies I will watch regardless of content. But I’d also love to see Lucian Msamati, another giant in the world of film and theatre, tackle the role, as he, too, is an actor you can’t take your eyes from.

Kira…my heroine! I would need someone who can be, in turns, tough, mature, insecure, vulnerable, and witty. She has to be genuine in every way and with an incredible, almost other-worldly intellect. After all, she’s the girl who finds a “cure” for death. I’m thinking Kaitlyn Dever…the way she shed her quirky teenage persona from Booksmart to inhabit Marie Adler in Unbelievable confirms it for me.

In my head, Will (Kira's nemesis who later becomes tremendously important to her) is a tall, blond handsome guy who is also infuriatingly smart, smug and occasionally hateful. How about if we pretend that Will is Irish, not English, and give it to Fionn O’Shea?

Rik is the drop-dead sexy assistant to Dr. Munn who Kira has a huge crush on from early in the book. He’s supposed to be twenty so it may not work out for Takayuki Suzuki, but can we ask him anyway?
Visit Marti Leimbach's website.

--Marshal Zeringue