Who will play the Jack of Spades?
Honestly, probably neither of these guys, but that’s the fun of a fancast, right? Today I’m going to cast the would-be movie of my new book, One-Eyed Jacks. (Which you can still pre-order at a reduced price until Halloween…)
Here’s the book description:
Rails End, California. 1980s. As a former Vegas magician, Jack knows the world is full of shallow illusions. That’s why he’s grinding out a new life for himself as a smuggler, counterfeiter and debt collector for a local crime boss, and trying to stay off of everyone else’s radar.
Unfortunately, keeping a low profile just isn’t in the cards for the Jack of Spades. After a little trouble in Chinatown, Jack’s employer decides to send him on a working vacation. He’s to retrieve some stolen museum pieces on the island of Saipan. But Jack’s not the only person on the job and the other interested parties are more than they appear. Hell, they may even be more than human…
Urban fantasy, crime-noir, and Asian myth merge in this darkly entertaining novel of pulp adventure.
The story takes place sometime in the 1980s, and Edgar casts Steve McQueen and Tom Selleck in the two top roles. (McQueen passed away in 1980, but Edgar refuses to accept that.) If this book were being made into a movie today, here’s how I see it breaking down…
(Images omitted, unfortunately, because I’m not sure where the world stands on copyright and the internet at this point.)
JACK: Our hero and narrator, the Jack of Spades. He’s calm and collected with a sense of humor and sense of adventure. He’s also the Wanderer, the Dark Stranger.
My top two picks would be Chris Pratt of Guardians of the Galaxy and The Magnificent Seven (although their names were different, as far as I’m concerned, Pratt played Steve McQueen’s character from the original movie). He’s funny and charming and has a good disposition for this role. Though, honestly, he may be a little too beefy for Jack’s part.
Not that Nathan Fillion is out of shape either, but I think he’s got more wisdom and subtly. I can definitely see Jack being more akin to Malcolm Reynolds of Firefly than Star Lord on Guardians of the Galaxy. I think Fillion might be the better pick for this role.
EDGAR: Eddie is Jack’s partner in crime (literally) and the comic relief of the book. He’s also a Mexican American who thinks he’s Magnum, P. I. Therefore, Edgar would like to see Tom Selleck play his part, but… He’s giving himself too much credit. I’m thinking Michael Peña, who provided great comic relief in Ant-Man. I can definitely see him as the tough but not tough looking sidekick to the Jack of Spades.
FELIX: Felix Caterina, also known as Felix the Cat on the street, is Jack and Eddie’s employer. He’s a relatively small crime boss, an older guy with a fast temper but a good heart underneath. Let’s put Clint Eastwood in that part. That would go great with one of his lines and make it very ironic: “You think you’re Clint Fucking Eastwood, Jack?”
I can’t tell you much about the rest of the characters without ruining the surprise, so these will be quickies.
ALMA: Just a casino girl or more than meets the eye? I have to admit that I don’t know any Filipina actresses off the top of my head, so I asked Google for help. And they gave me many choices, but I picked the lovely Angel Locsin. (I hope she speaks English…)
NAGASHI: The mysterious Japanese man who seems to be watching everybody. There are only a few Japanese actors I can think of, one of whom has that eerie quiet down to a science. Hiroyuki Sanada, from SyFy’s Helix series.
PETEY JACKSON: I wrote this story before I knew director Peter Jackson was a person, okay? Just so you know. And this casting is overkill for the role, but who cares? We have an infinite budget! Forest Whitaker of the up-coming Rogue One would make a cool cigar-smoking scoundrel!
MING & POH: Felix’s underworld contact from Hong Kong and her bodyguard. Lucy Liu can be both tough and sexy. And Ken Wantanabe, from The Last Samurai and Batman Begins, has a nice, threatening presence.
All right, get those agents on the phone and let's get this thing moving!
In the meantime, here are some places you can find One-Eyed Jacks. Give it a read and let me know who you would cast in the movie!