* * *
Let's plan a blockbuster movie for summer of 2015, shall we? This is a "fan cast," which is where people who day dream about a movie being made from their favorite book, TV show, comic book, etc, come up with who they'd like to see play the roles of the characters involved. I haven't gotten the call from Hollywood quite yet for Tarnish (hint-hint, Hollywood), but I thought it would be fun to do a casting call to fill the roles of the main characters of this fantasy novel.
My thinking is not restricted by time and space, and I'm not even limiting this casting by talent -- one of these guys isn't even an actor! But here's my thinking...
Billy Cole/Wil Thunderstrike - 1st choice: I don't know any teenage actors - in fact, I generally don't care for teenage actors. They fill teenaged roles and probably get to thinking they are hot shit even though they can barely shave or drive. So I'm thinking a good actor for Wil would be a 16 to 18 year old Henry Cavill from Man of Steel and Immortals (I didn't even realize he was in Immortals till I started doing this blog post). Tall, strong, dark hair, intense. I think a younger Cavill would fit the bill nicely for our hero. (Though I think he told Jay Leno that he was a chubby loser when he was young -- hey, weren't we all?) In this pictures he's even wielding a spear -- perfect!
Billy Cole/Wil Thunderstrike - 2nd choice: Well, I suppose I should try to pick a teen actor too, barring time travel and fountains of youth. Browsing the internet for candidates... I kinda like Shia LeBeouf as an actor but i don't think he's got the physique to be Wil Thunderstrike, son of Ian the Black. So I picked this dude named Robbie Amell based solely on this picture from some fan-chick's website. But to be honest... I don't like his attitude.
Leon Shimmerskin - 1st choice: We need a guy who can pull off powerful and arrogant and nigh unstoppable. I think Mickey Rourke's big comeback in recent years with The Wrestler, Ironman 2, and Immortals shows he can be that big, muscular badass. He might be a shy bit older for the part now, but since we're not limited by the barriers of time, let's shade him back a few years but keep all the power and intimidating glare.
Leon Shimmerskin - 2nd choice: I suppose Chris Hemsworth does have some experience as a charming yet powerful, blond-haired fantasy superhero...
Ian Cole - 2nd choice: This close up of writer Alan Moore, who penned the graphic novels Watchmen and V For Vendetta, looks pretty dead on for Ian Cole. And while in real life I think he is very tall, he's also very thin, so he might need a body double.
Jade: Cunning yet cute, Jade is a thief and Wil's love interest. Again, I don't know any raven-haired teenaged actresses I would trust with playing my characters. Fortunately the internet is full of folks who do, so... Let's see here... Okay, one young lady who is now twenty and I have actually heard of is Nickelodeon actress Victoria Justice. She's got the look for sure, so let's give her a shot. Get her agent on the phone...
Mum Picklebriar: Mysterious stranger in the black hat, a storyteller with a gravelly voice and grit. I can see Russell Crowe in this role. In this pic he even comes with his own black hat.
Morlock: Even though Morlock the archer is about the closest of Shimmerskin's trio to Wil, I had a terrible time trying to envision an actor to play his part. Then someone struck me as perfect: David Wenham, who's cool scratchy voice was Dilios (the narator) in 300 and played the ranger Faramir in the Lord of the Rings movies (so he's got some bow experience too).
Crow: As I was writing I envisioned a thinner version of Danny Trejo with a long ponytail, covered in tattoos, and swinging a huge mallet around. Machete is more than qualified to be Crow!
Lockheed: General scumbag and scruffy waste of space: Lockheed. Let me take you back to Heat with Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, and Val Kilmer. There was one lesser character who made an impact as a villainous creep that the audience really wanted to see dead. I'm talking about Waingro, played by Kevin Gage. "The grim reaper is visiting with you."
Brother Fabien: The "Boy Preacher," a young man who is both doubtful and a leader of the community. He's actually a more complex character than may be let on in this first novel. To fill his holy shoes I'm picking Jay Baruchel, who voiced the hero of How To Train Your Dragon. Young Mr. Baruchel would bring Fabien a great awkward dorkiness (no offense), a young guy who would like to break certain social barriers and "get the girl" but can't. Actually, thinking of him in this role gives greater depth to Fabien for me, which is amazing!
Jenna Knox: The musical heart of Redfield, and a lovely brunette, I can't think of anyone better suited to play the part and draw a crowd than Katy Perry herself.
Mad Dog McCray: This one image struck me as great for the weathered and wild face under the dog cowl of Mad Dog McCray: William Fichtner as bad guy Butch Cavendish in this summer's Lone Ranger. Fichtner is a fantastic actor, almost always playing smaller strong character parts, and it'd be awesome to have him as part of a Tarnish movie. Pull him right out of this picture, slap a dead dog on his head, and we're ready to shoot!
The Swamp Man: The mysterious cloaked master of Blood Marsh. The first thing that actually comes to mind is the Crypt Keeper, but we're not going for comedy here. And though it's not quite right either, I always liked the cloaked and cow-skulled creatures from Time Bandits too. So somewhere in between there...
Gromlins: Maybe we can borrow the Gremlins and spray paint them in appropriate colors for the film.
Redfield, Hobb's Turn, and Fellwater are all towns chocked full of characters, but the above castings cover all the biggest parts for sure. There's also a lot of actors I really like who don't appear here -- you can't just stuff all your favorites into one movie if they aren't right for the part, right?
Just another $100,000,000 and maybe we can convince some producer to go with this! I hope everyone will come out and see it -- and bring your 3D glasses!
If anyone else has any ideas on actors for these characters, I'd love to hear them!