Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Making the Leap: Books to the Big Screen

Since I finally finished my revisions on TIES OF VALOR and got them turned in, I’m taking a little writing time-out to refill my well. In a nutshell that means I’m going to delve into my TBR stack like a mad woman and call dibs on the TV to watch hours upon hours of movies. Though the SAG awards interfered with prime viewing time, I did start to delve into my to-be-watched list. Which led me to a question—is it just me or have you also noticed how many movies started out as books?

For instance, I popped in EARTHSEA (originally aired as a mini-series on the Sci-Fi Channel) and discovered it was based on a series of books. Monday also saw the kick-off Lifetime’s airing of four made-for-TV movies based on Nora Roberts’ best-sellers. Also originally in print were CHILDREN OF MEN, ERAGON, HARRY POTTER as well as the newly opened BLOOD & CHOCOLATE.

I remember the days when WIZARD magazine started a column documenting which actors/actresses should play the Who’s Who of the comic industry. Though I don’t think Kelsey Grammar was their pick to play the X-men’s Beast, nor do I think Nick Cage had the rough-guy image to top the list for Ghost Rider. But I guess Hollywood saw it differently. (Maybe it has to do with the dollar signs floating before their eyes.)

I’ve heard tell of writers who have their Hollywood heartthrob taped to their wall beside their computer, or even put up computer wallpaper with them strutting their stuff. I myself have Drew Barrymore—my favorite actress—smiling sheepishly during a scene in Music & Lyrics. I know she isn’t right for my currently finished manuscript, nor my upcoming novel. But the question of who would be perfect prompted my brain to storm. (Which is a good sign it hasn’t turned to Jell-O like I believed.)

Here’s the short list of main characters I came up with for TIES OF VALOR (in order of appearance):

Zara Dior—Mila Jovovich (For her role in Fifth Element & Resident Evil)

CHIRI—Rachel Weiss (The spitfire voice-over for Saphira in ERAGON—A+)

Awyn Shandar—Eric Bana (How could I not pick him after Troy?)

Rolan Ebar—Sean Connery (I had to fit him in somewhere! All hail Quartermain!)

Oron Shandar—Dougray Scott (Could definitely pull off bookish & hot at the same time)

Rumius—Jeremy Irons (The man is brilliant with a Golden Globe & SAG this year!)

Talis Shandar—James Franco (Only because of his role in TRISTAN & ISOLDE)

Anida Shandar—Melanie Lynskey (Loved her as Drew’s sister in EVER AFTER)

Weyde Shandar—Harrison Ford (Who else could play a cooler dad after FIREWALL?)

Commander Geist—Rip Torn (He played a similar role well in X-Men 3)

Queen Sircie—Julia Ormond (All I have to say is Guinevere from FIRST KNIGHT)

Lieutenant Ellis—Cary Elwes (Loved his good guy/bad guy play in PRINCESS BRIDE.)

Fiona Dior—Felicity Huffman (She’s dramatic, funny & evil plus she looks like a Mom)

I can tell you for sure I don’t have enough 0’s in my bank account to hire this star power, but it costs nothing to imagine. Care to tell us who you daydreamed about to play your hero, heroine or your cast of characters in a movie?


MK Mancos/Kathleen Scott said...

I have been wanting to see Tristan and Isodole. Was it any good?

I'm not one to think of actors as I'm writing. I'm pretty sure my characters don't exist in the real world. Hehehehhehee... I can never imagine who would play them. As for Nick Cage as Ghost Rider. I had my suspcions at first, but after seeing the trailers for it, I think he'll do a good job.

And yeah...Kelsey Grammer as Beast. I loved the Beast character, but just couldn't get my head around that casting choice.


Cassandra Kane said...

I'm with Kat, I can't see my characters as actors as I write. They are who they are, I just can't see them being 'played' by anyone else. But it's great fun thinking of who could play characters in some of my author's books.

The Earthsea books are what turned me on to fantasy when I was a kid, way before I'd heard of LOTR. It was my greatest discovery at a library ever! I have the mini-series on DVD but it just can't compare to the psychological depth and beautiful writing of the books.

I didn't know Children of Men was originally a book. I'll have to hunt it down. Was the movie any good? I'm in two minds about going to watch it.


Bernadette Gardner and Jennifer Colgan said...

I tend to mix people to come up with my characters - my current hero is the love child of Hugh Jackman and Clive Owen, one of my heroine's was a red-headed Charisma Carpenter with a dash of Holly Marie Combs - so I guess my books would be very hard to cast as movies - not that I wouldn't mind seeing someone try.

Skylar Masey said...

MK/Kathleen-Tristan & Isolde was wonderful, though sad. The movie version of the tale reminded me a bit of Sir Lancelot & Guinevere.

Cassandra-We had to read CHILDREN OF MEN as a required reading in college. I'd completely forgotten about the book until I saw the note in the credits. The movie was dark and violent, because the futuristic Britian is the last nation who hasn't crumbled. The government is trying to rid themselves of immigrants and their are no fertile men & women left. All in all it had a great message, but as I said it's very graphic. And Jennifer will be happy to know it stars Clive Owen (who was among the top runners for Awyn's part!).

Sorry I didn't get back to you all yesterday. I was having trouble getting the blog to come up.

Cassandra Kane said...

Not to worry, Skylar.

I saw Children of Men on DVD at Blockbusters, so I'll get it out next time. Worth a look just for Clive Owen! :-)

BTW, I made a typo in the last sentence of the first para. Meant to say "But it's great fun thinking of who could play characters in some of my favourite author's books." As if I could own an author! LOL