Greetings friends, Romans, and assorted countrymen. Let’s have a bit of fun today, shall we?
Compared to my other work, the lack of character descriptions in Stars Rain Down is mighty unusual. I’m typically the sort to spend a few paragraphs describing every mole on a character’s behind in excruciating detail, but with this book I adopted a more impressionist approach. With only a few exceptions, the cast’s appearances were largely left up to your imagination and I think that worked out pretty well.
I had rather clear pictures of people, though. In fact, I had actors picked out for most roles, and I thought you might like to see who I had in mind even if you haven’t finished reading yet. So, let’s cast the hypothetical 6-hour TV mini-series version of Stars Rain Down.
Warning: These are really just suggestions, but if you’d prefer to hang onto your own imagined versions, you should probably skip this. Otherwise, read on…
Dr. Marcus Donovan
Portrayed by: Eureka’s Joe Morton
This was my single easiest and most concrete casting choice. Marcus Donovan, a middle-aged maverick astronomer, was always played in my head by veteran sci-fi actor Joe Morton. I’ve always been a big fan of Joe’s performances, and he simply is Marcus Donovan to me.
Corpsman Jack Hernandez
Portrayed by: Jonathan Sanchez(?!)
And this role was the most difficult. I originally had a young Antonio Sabato Jr. in the role, but things change. Sadly, there’s a shortage of latino actors in Hollywood, and my image of the character eventually settled on a non-actor: Giants pitcher Jonathan Sanchez. I sure hope he can act as well as he throws a ball.
Commander Alex Faulkland
Portrayed by: Boomtown’s Neal McDonough
I’m pretty flexible on this one, but I think Neal would do a fantastic job as the macho veteran spaceship captain. I’d also gladly accept Colin Ferguson.
Kai, Alien Biotech Soldier
Portrayed by: Memento’s Guy Pearce
A long-time favorite actor of mine, and an excellent fit for the role. If Pearce wasn’t available, I wouldn’t mind replacing him with either Michael Wincott or Canadian sci-fi actor, Callum Keith Rennie.
Dr. Vijay Rao
Portrayed by: Super Troopers’ Jay Chandrasekhar
This is a more recent choice. I originally had Kunal Nayyar of CBS’s Big Bang Theory in this role, but he seems a bit young and I think Jay is a better match overall.
Communication Officer Mason Shen
Portrayed by: Heroes’ Masi Oka
Technician Nils Jansen
Portrayed by: Stephen Colbert
It’s kind of an inside joke.
Technician Marco Esquivel
Portrayed by: Chuck’s Joshua Gomez
Technician Larry “Hop” Hopkins
Portrayed by: Super Troopers’ Kevin Heffernan
Corpsman Leonid Nikitin
Portrayed by: Ray Stevenson of HBO’s Rome
I’m not totally stuck on this one. I had also considered a young Dolph Lundgren, and oddly, both men have played The Punisher.
Jessica “Jess” Southern
Portrayed by: The Guild’s Felicia Day
I don’t think I always had a good vision of Jack’s fiancée, but Felicia seems like a decent choice.
Portrayed by: The Mummy’s Oded Fehr
I think Oded is just fantastic, and he’s easily my top pick for the fierce battle-hardened Colonel.
And I think that’s most of the primary and supporting cast. The two major gaps are Lisa Albright and Charlie Hernandez, who I never could cast for some reason. I have a good image of each in mind, but they’re just not anyone I’ve ever seen before.
Did any of these match what you imagined? If not, who did you picture playing these characters? Leave a comment and let me know.