I was fortunate to have Karen Oberlaender review my two non-magic fantasy novels, Adversaries Together and Winterfinding, this Spring. Hearing what a reader thinks is always delightful for a writer, at least for me it is. I love knowing that someone not only read the work but decided it was worth talking about. This is true whether it’s a positive or negative comment. Engaging with readers is fun.
Anyway, towards the end of Oberlaender’s review of my first book she asks, “If Adversaries Together was filmed–who should direct it, who could you imagine as actors?”
I know it’s silly but the question stuck with me. So I decided to answer it. Why do this? Well, at the very least it creates an image in the mind. One that aides in visualizing how these characters move, speak, and interact. When you have a proxy, it can make the story more vivid.
But also, it’s just a game; it’s fun.
I use to do this kind of thing (pick actors to play my favorite book characters) all the time when I was a kid. I remember having long debates into the night with my friends about who the cast of the film version of The Sword of Shannara would be.
It’s the height of arrogance to believe what I’ve written is worth being made into a movie. There are maybe thirty people I can say for certain have read my books. Still, I like playing the game.
My books wouldn’t make a good movie, but I think they’d make a decent tv show and a rather solid comic. Anyway, here are my casting choices for the ‘heroes’ of my story.
When I originally began to draft Adversaries Together I realized I was writing Roth as a romanticized version of myself. So, who would I want to play fantasy me? The answer: Michael Fassbender.
But Fassbender is damn amazing actor. I think I should have a more down-to-earth suggestion. So, it’s a draw between Oded Fehr and Chris Messina. All of these actors are the age I imagine Roth to be and as I went through the other’s I found I was trying to find age-appropriate actors.
Kira is a damsel through half of my first book. I’m not wild about that. I’ve been working towards turning her story arc into one that’s more proactive rather than reactive. So my two choices for her are Imogen Poots or Teresa Palmer.
After seeing Poots in the Fright Night remake and the Jimi Hendrix biopic, I realized that she’s not at all bad.
My paladin, my boy scout. Goshen can’t be a lunk and needed to be a peer of Kira. Recently, I saw the film Obvious Child (superb flick) and the male lead I think would make a great Goshen. Jake Lacy is boyish, strong, and a good actor.
My second choice is the dreamier Australian Sam Reid.
Picking the strongest woman in my story wasn’t a challenge. My second book, Winterfinding, is really a story about Jena, who I imagine as Katee Sackhoff. I was going through a deep Longmire phase while writing that one.
As the most mature character in my books, Wynne needs to be portrayed by someone who can convey seriousness and have his pensive moments be filled with a certain aggressive frustration. I’d most like to see Alexander Siddig (who most recently landed a spot on Game of Thrones) as Wynne.
But I could also make room for former Lost star and currently on the Netflix show Sense8 Naveen Andrews.
Wynne’s daughter Fery needs to be roughly the age of Kira and someone who’d fit as Siddig or Andrews’ child. Fery is one of my favorite characters so I kinda want to geek out a bit with her casting. My first thought was Smallville‘s Lana Lang, Kristin Kreuk.
My second thought was Dichen Lachman who played Sierra in Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse.
But after seeing the ridiculous movie Kingsman, I think that Sofia Boutella could capture the acrobatics that make up Fery’s physical self.
Finally, there’s my rogue Declan. He’s not supposed to be so hard edged though he is rather rough around the edges. Unlike Roth, Declan isn’t world weary but rather an opportunist. More than anything my story is about creating friendship so I need to cast someone that would be a good counter to Goshen as well as a good fit among Kira and Fery. Someone roughly the same age as Roth and a bit younger than Wynne.
First choice, Paul Bettany. But Bettany is all flushed with Iron Man/Avengers fame to do my stupid non-magic tv show. So then I decided to look to an actor who I loved in the short-lived tv show Dead Like Me, Callum Blue.
My back-up would be Matthew Gray Gubler of Criminal Minds fame.
So that’s my hero cast. There are other characters in the story it’d be interesting to speculate who could fit them. The quasi-villain Sinclar Somerled (I imagine Mark Strong), the pirate Asa Salda and his second-in-command Riv Bloodtangle, the spy Cochrane, the mysterious ambassadors from the deep southern city of Lappala (Umma, who I see as Thandie Newton, and Rava Din), and the homunculus Adamix.