Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Have we discussed this already?

How many of you have mentally cast the imaginary (hoped for) movie version of your book? 

In the major motion picture version of Thin Blue Smoke, Denzel Washington and Bill  Nighy (with an American accent) play the leads, with Steve Zahn in the main supporting role.



Faye L. Booth said...

I can never do that. It's just as well I'm not a casting director, because I'd never get any work done - to me, chararacters (especially my own characters) look like themselves, not celebrities in costume. Of course, it doesn't help that a lot of professional actors and actresses have the same sort of homogenised good looks, and my characters don't. I couldn't just comb a talent agency for a redhead to play Molly - even if I found a natural redhead (and I'd want one, to get the skin tone and the freckles right), I'd have a problem with them being too tall and/or skinny for me to believe in them as Molly. It's like asking who I'd cast as my friends or family members, and I can never compare them to celebrities either.

Matt Curran said...

Hi, Doug

I've received a few e-mails from readers thinking The Secret War would make an excellent movie, and even video game, so on more than one occasion I've imagined how it would look. Like Faye, I don't think I've ever cast established actors in the main roles, but have relied on "unknown" actors to fill the parts.
- I usually think of any adaptation in terms of set pieces (which you can do quite easily in an action/adventure) such as the battle at sea on the Iberian, or the first appearance of the daemon.

As a huge movie fan, in terms of letting an adaptation go, I would rather see a good director/producer make a film adap and pay me peanuts from the outset, than be paid a hefty sum only for the film to be directed by someone like Uwe Boll.
At least that's how I hope I would react, anyway... (though the lure of filthy lucre might be overwhelming!).

David Isaak said...

I don't envision actors while writing, but I and some friends have played that game in retrospect with my books and theirs.

And, of course, many screenwriters do this before they even start writing.

Unfortunately, the heroine of Shock and Awe doesn't look anything like any screen actress. (In practice, after Boys Don't Cry and Million Dollar Baby she'd probably be played by Hilary Swank. But she doesn't look anything like Hilary.)

Unlike Faye, though, I find the idea of casting my family and friends quite appealing. I've been chuckling over the idea since I read it.

Doug Worgul said...

Actually, I didn't have actors in mind when I wrote the characters. In fact, I couldn't (still can't) see their faces when I think of them. But my son-in-law is a screenwriter and after the book was written we got to talking about which actors might play which characters and it's become a little game we play.

Tim Stretton said...

I do this very occasionally, and strangely I usually end up casting Denzel Washington as well...

I never really know what my characters look like except in the broadest terms: I don't know if this makes the exercise easier or more difficult.

Eliza Graham said...

I do this all the time in my head.

Neil said...

Hi, Doug.

Interesting question. After reading the prologue and the 'music from' list I'm looking forward to reading Thin Blue Smoke. Now I'm looking forward to seeing the film.

I've just finished a new ms, so no one's read it yet, but just cast them for you anyway:

Paul Bettany (or Kris Marshall)
Gina Bellman, but with a deeper voice (actually, I reckon she'd make a good Lena for Light reading)(
Colin Firth (or Hugh Dennis)
Renee Zellweger with English accent (or Keeley Hawes)
And, not that he's an actor, but Enrique Iglesias

This has just made me realise there's a bit of a dearth of mixed race established male actors available for the last slot. Only one I can think of is Noel Clarke, but he's about ten years too young.

Doug Worgul said...

Thanks for checking out the book, Neil. Much appreciated.