Just wanted to let everyone know that I’m returning to Kindle Select, so in the next few days, both Biotech Legacy books will only be available through Amazon. I really dislike exclusivity, but my royalties are currently hovering around $3 for the month and something has to change. The upside is that I’ll be able to run free promotions through Amazon again, starting with a 2-day sale this Thursday and Friday! If you can help me boost at all, I’d appreciate it mucho!
A few years back, I went over who I’d cast if Stars Rain Down were (by some stroke of amazing luck) turned into a major motion picture. Although there’s still no movie deal (and I’d prefer a fully CG 6-hour cable miniseries, anyway), I thought I’d revisit the idea for a fun Sunday project, updating my old choices and introducing some of the important characters from Long Fall along the way.
Now with pictures!
Old Pick: Joe Morton
My dream pick for the maverick astronomer is still The Brother from Another Planet. I’ve just always been a fan, and Joe is literally the man I had in mind while writing about Marcus. However, (playing through the fantasy here) a studio would likely want someone with a little more heat, so…
New Pick: Idris Elba
He’s just awesome, isn’t he? I’d worry that he might be a bit too manly for Donovan, but I think he can play it down if need be. He’s certainly a talented enough actor.
Old Pick: Major League pitcher Jonathan Sanchez
I couldn’t think of a single suitable latino actor, so I picked a baseball player to pose as a stand-in. That seems pretty danged sad in retrospect.
New Pick: Manny Montana
Currently in USA’s Graceland. He has a good physical look for the part, and from his work on Graceland, I know he can play honest, brave, and heroic. Just imagine him in an orange jumpsuit and I think we’ve got a winner.
Old Pick: Didn’t have one.
Charlie just wasn’t a particularly important character in the first book, so I generally imagined him as Jack but a little younger. With his increased role in Long Fall, that had to change.
New Pick: Miguel Gómez
You probably recognize Miguel if you watched Guillermo Del Toro’s The Strain on TNT this past season. He’s got a very similar look to Manny Montana, but tougher and harder edged, making him an ideal choice for the younger Hernandez brother.
Old Pick: Sarah Shahi
She’s a good performer and the camera loves her… but in retrospect, she doesn’t really seem like the right fit for Amira. Too sexy and tough.
New Pick: Azita Ghanizada
She played Rachel Pirzad on Syfy’s (sadly) short-lived series Alphas, where we’ve seen her play hyper-competent but not particularly confident or socially gifted. Feels like a good match.
Old Pick: None
In my old list, Lisa was one of those characters who simply fell through the cracks despite her importance to the narrative.
New Pick: Kristen Bell
Small, plucky, warm-hearted and athletic. I think Kristen could do an amazing job with the role. An easy pick.
Old Pick: Guy Pearce
I’ve been a fan of his ever since Ravenous, and I enjoyed his recent work in both Prometheus and Iron Man 3, but I don’t think he’s quite what I’m looking for in a genetically engineered alien super-soldier anymore.
New Pick: Benedict Cumberbatch
He was the only part of Star Trek Into Darkness that I actually liked, and we’ve seen him playing a different sort of sociopath in Sherlock. There was something especially interesting about his performance as Khan (calculating, serpentine… a genetically engineered super-soldier), and I can hardly imagine anyone else in the role, now.
Juliette St. Martin
Old Pick: Lena Olin or Juliette Binoche
Both fine actresses, but also a bit older than I’m currently thinking. Also, neither has much currency in Hollywood.
New Pick: Mélanie Laurent
The star of Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, Mélanie is an excellent actress and a better fit as a contemporary of Idris Elba (though perhaps just a smidge young).
Old Pick: Ray Stevenson
Not a bad pick, but a bit old and doesn’t really have the spirit I’m looking for.
New Pick: Kevin Durand
Another cast member of The Strain, Kevin Durand is a towering human specimen with a very goofy air about him that fits the human lighthouse, Leonid Nikitin, very well.
Old Pick: None
Daniel Grey’s part in Stars Rain Down was sooooo small that there really wasn’t any point casting him (did you even notice him in that book?). With his massively increased role in Long Fall, it’s clearly time to pick an actor.
New Pick: Patrick Wilson
I wanted someone with a good dose of charm, but with a certain creepy edge to it. I considered Josh Lucas, but Patrick Wilson (who you may know from The Watchmen and dozens of other things) seems the best all-around choice.
Old Pick: Oded Fehr
Oded Fehr is a very entertaining performer, but not particularly known for his dramatic chops. In recasting the role, I had a slight change of heart.
New Pick: Alexander Siddig
This is one of the few times where I’ve switched to an older actor. I’ve been a big fan of Siddig’s ever since Deep Space Nine (back when he was known as Siddig El Fadil), and I’d really enjoy seeing him play the leader of the human resistance.
The Nefrem Prince
Old Pick: None (role didn’t exist)
New Pick: Jonathan Rhys Meyers
This role calls for someone really special. The character is androgynous, stately, imperious, and commanding. Jonathan Rhys Meyers offers just the right mix of character traits, and his work in Velvet Goldmine seems especially relevant. As an alternate, I wouldn’t mind seeing Matthew Goode in the role.
And that should cover the key parts. For most of the roles I didn’t mention, they’ve either remained the same from the previous version or didn’t warrant casting at this time… except for the few dreadfully important characters I’ve certainly forgotten, and will commence slapping myself for later.
Do these match what you imagined? If not, who would you like to see playing these characters on the big screen? Let me know in the comments below!
On Monday, I mentioned that my current goal is to finish Arcana Universalis: The Hanged Man’s Revelation, and for many of you, the immediate response was doubtlessly, “What the heck is that?” I can hardly blame you; I published the last part nearly two years ago, and have spoken nary a word about it since. Well, consider this your refresher.
The very short answer is that Arcana Universalis is a story about wizards in space. Simple enough, right?
I had been watching Dragonslayer, a fairly wonderful movie about a young magician in training, and it got me thinking about the entire fantasy genre. These stories are infested with nigh-omnipotent practitioners of arcane arts, but where’s their ambition? Why are they content to sit around in drafty towers while the simple folk below farm the land? Despite all their power and ingenuity, these wizards are trapped in a pseudo-Medieval pastiche, when they could just as soon ascend to the stars.
So, I set out to tell a story about just that. I dreamed up a world where starships powered by ancient artifacts blast through the cosmos in search of star-born dragons; where spells operate with the depth and complexity of computer programs, manipulating energies invisible to the naked eye; where nothing is at it seems, and even death may not be the end of a contract.
There’s more to it, of course. The story that takes place in that setting deals in big themes like gender & class inequality, and the twisted ways that our traumas sometimes heal. It’s actually a very morose tale that only grows more so as it spins on.
It’s also the most ambitiously overwritten thing I’ve ever worked on. I make no bones about the fact that I really like to hammer at my prose, and this is the story where I decided to let the hammer fly. Take for example the opening paragraphs:
The universe is vast. It’s so vast that the very concept of it—the sheer beastly immensity of it—thrashes at the fabric of reason itself, and to our mortal minds, it appears chaotic. Stars flare into existence while others perish, great stones hurtle through the empty dark only to crash into one another and be obliterated, and life pervades everywhere.
All of this activity carries on seemingly without direction or purpose, but such appearances belie a strange truth: the veil of chaos conceals a subtle order which governs all things, a queer music that suffuses and binds, pulsing through the glittering stars and clouds of burning gas, over crystalline shores and fields of shifting sands, weaving all of creation into a single unbroken whole.
There is harmony, though we lack ears to hear it. There is order, and in its intricate majesty, that order is divine. There is music among the spheres, and all the petty toils of men are but the transitory notes and cadence of its forever wandering melody.
And that, more or less, is Arcana Universalis: a strange premise saddled with heavy ideas, written with all pretentiousness turned up to 11. I rather love it, and I hope you will as well.
In my continuing adventures with Booktrack, I’ve now also created a soundtrack for the first chapter of Stars Rain Down, which you can check out by following this link!
Halloween is the best holiday, isn’t it? Costumes, candy, hiding dead bodies in stranger’s houses… wait… please disregard that last part.
Anyway, I wrote (and soundtracked) a piece for Booktrack’s Spooky Flash Fiction contest, and wanted to share it with you fine folks. It’s called The Witching Light, and you can find it by clicking on the spoooOOOoooky cover below!
Happy Halloween, everyone!