Thursday, May 6, 2021

Nick Pirog's "Jungle Up"

Nick Pirog is the bestselling author of the Thomas Prescott series, the 3:00 a.m. series, and The Speed of Souls. A Colorado native, he now lives in South Lake Tahoe with his two pups, Potter and Penny.

Here Pirog dreamcasts an adaptation of his new novel, Jungle Up:
Casting my book as a movie is one of the first steps in my writing process. I do it before I write a single word. Finding the perfect actor for each character in Jungle Up was more laborsome than my previous books simply because with two intersecting storylines, there were an abundance of roles to fill. In one storyline, retired homicide detective Thomas Prescott journeys to the middle of the Bolivian Amazon to rescue Gina Brady, a World Health Organization doctor (and ex-girlfriend) who was abducted from her village. In the other storyline, a documentary expedition (who Thomas hitched a ride down to South America with) is headed into the Bolivian jungle in search of the lost city of the Incas.

This is the fifth book featuring Thomas Prescott and I think Ryan Reynolds is just the guy to play the handsome, sarcastic, and slightly obnoxious detective extraordinaire. Readers have also mentioned they would like to see Paul Rudd, Gerard Butler, Stephen Amell, or Jensen Ackles.

When I first introduced Dr. Gina Brady in The Afrikaans, I cast Jennifer Connelly in the role. But now, a decade later, I see Scarlett Johansson playing the stunning, independent, and strong-willed doctor.

Vern—yes, just Vern—is a guide/fixer who Thomas meets up with in Bolivia. I always envisioned him as Philip Seymour Hoffman, with an unkempt beard, heavyset, and smoking a cigar. I know Seymour is no longer with us (R.I.P.), but I can’t imagine anyone else in the role.

Andy Depree is my favorite new character. He is the lead anthropologist for the documentary expedition and ironically enough, an anxiety-ridden hypochondriac (AKA, a weenie). I always envisioned him as Michael Cera. (I see Cera playing Andy in a similar fashion as he did George Michael in Arrested Development.)

Jonathan Roth is the big-time director of the documentary. He could be played by just about any guy in a Cialis commercial, but I think Andy Garcia could really capture his arrogance and douchebaggery.

Farah Karim is an Egyptian archeologist. I based her on a real Egyptian archeologist named Nora Shawki. Shawki is young, smart, and beautiful and hopefully we can convince her to star as herself.

I think Clive Owen would be a great Mark Holland, the ex-British Special Forces soldier who oversees the expedition’s safety while in the jungle.

The two bad guys, Patrick Sewall and Bill Wyeth, who abduct Dr. Gina Brady, could be played by Shawn Doyle (The Expanse) and Kevin Dunn (Veep) respectively.

And finally, there’s Camila. She is the most beloved character in the book and would be played perfectly by just about any baby sloth.
Visit Nick Pirog's website.

--Marshal Zeringue