One of the questions I get asked the most is whether Vanguard Prime will ever be made into a movie. And from what I’ve experienced, I’m not the only author to be asked this. I know Stephen King was particularly puzzled when he was asked what the film prospects of Vanguard Prime are, given that he’d never heard of it before.
I may have made up that last part.
In any case, book-to-film translations are always a hot topic of conversation. People don’t seem to feel a work has been truly successful until it’s been rendered cinematically with a running time of 2+ hours, and they get the chance to complain about the filmmakers completely missing the point.
But to answer the original question; the chances of Vanguard Prime ever being adapted to the screen are, safe to say, slim to none. That’s not to say that I wouldn’t be excited to have it happen, but I’m not exactly pinning any particular hopes on it. After all, it took about 30 years for Ender’s Game to be made into a film, and though I’m quite proud of Vanguard Prime, it’s not exactly recognised as a classic of its genre the way Orson Scott Card’s book is.
So now that I’ve couched all of this in a thick blanket of self-awareness, let’s pretend that a Vanguard Prime movie is something legitimately possible. Who would I cast in it, you might ask. And even if you wouldn’t ask that, I’m going to tell you anyway. That’s just the kind of guy I am.
This would be the trickiest part to cast, given that there’s not really much physical description of Goldrush/Sam in the books. I wanted every reader to formulate their own picture of him…which was kind of defeated when it came time to design the cover, but that’s beside the point. The other issue with casting Sam is that it’s a very time sensitive role; anyone I nominate now would probably be too old in just a couple of years. But if we were going with who I had pictured in my head, it’d have to be Jordan Dang, probably best known for his role as Tim Okazaki in Chris Lilley’s TV series Angry Boys.
I think I’ve discussed this before, but one of the visual inspirations for Machina was Brie Larson, of Scott Pilgrim vs the World and 21 Jump Street fame. She’s not English, and at 25 she may now be a little too old for the part, but between her roles in Scott Pilgrim and The United States of Tara, she’s what I imagined Machina to be.
There were a few different actresses who informed my image of the Major, with chief amongst them being Charlize Theron (particularly because of her role in the music video for Brandon Flowers’ song Crossfire).
But there were a couple of other faces floating around in my head when creating her, which included Stephanie March of Law & Order fame, Australian actress Emma Lung and, most recently, Haywire star and MMA fighter Gina Carano.
Everyone wants Idris Elba cast in everything. Who am I to deny them? And why would I want to?
The Knight of Wands
David Bowie’s appearance in the video for China Girl was very inspirational for the Knight’s appearance, as was Guy Pearce in Memento, but it comes down to two actors for this role. Either I stick with the Prometheus theme that’s developing and say Michael Fassbender, or I go the Jedi route and nominate Ewan McGregor. Either way, everybody wins.
(I can not get these two pictures side-by-side for some reason. Clearly they’ve had a disagreement.)
Outside of a cameo on 30 Rock I have no idea about Padma Lakshi’s acting ability, but she was highly influential when it came to envisioning what Gaia looked like. But I think Freida Pinto could just as easily make the role hers (and once again, their photos are fighting with each other).
So that’s the team, but what are heroes without some villains to fight? Here’s a small selection of who I’d pick to be the Big Bad.
Alexander Skarsgard. Because obviously.
The lead antagonist in War Zone was inspired by singer/actor/general awesome guy Henry Rollins, who may now be a little too old and grey for the role but…well, who cares?
I always pictured Phillip Seymour Hoffman as the Emperor, the Knight of Wands’ brother and chief adversary. Obviously, and very sadly, that’s no longer a possibility, and given that I can’t wrap my head around it I figured I’d nominate the next member down the food chain in the Major Arcana. Namely…
And this is a bit of a weird one, because I imagine it to be Doc Hammer, the co-creator and one of the lead voice actors from The Venture Bros animated series. He plays a variety of characters on the series, and I’m sure his skills would translate easily to live action. Plus it would amuse me immensely.
And that’s my list. Hopefully this doesn’t contradict too much with what the readers of the series have pictured, and if it has then just bear in mind that this is only my opinion. If you have a completely different vision, I’d love to hear about it. Otherwise I’ll be over here. By the phone. Waiting for that call from Hollywood to come. Which I’m sure will be any minute now. Especially given that international superstar Doc Hammer is attached to star. Box office gold. License to print money. Third salient point.
Last year, I was asked if I’d be interested in being a guest blogger for Writing Teen Novels. I was flattered to be asked and of course said yes. The aim was to write 12 posts that would run once a month through 2014.
If you’re interested in writing, and writing for young people in particular, I highly recommend checking out the blog. It’s packed full of insightful commentary from published authors, all hoping to share their expertise. And me too, making it up as I go along…which, really, is the definition of storytelling, isn’t it?
Hopefully this will go a little way towards explaining why I’ve been so quiet with the blog lately. The other explanation is this…
This won’t make any sense now, but with some luck it should with time. Hopefully I’m not jinxing myself by talking about it too soon.
I’m planning on writing up both a playlist for War Zone and another entry in the Making of a Superhero series of posts. With some luck that’ll happen before another New Year’s Eve rolls around. But in the meantime, make sure to keep an eye on Writing Teen Novels and please feel welcome to leave some feedback. I’d love to answer any questions anyone might have.
…or at least make up an answer.
Your absentee author here, dropping in to say ‘Hi’, ‘How are you?’, ‘You’re looking well, have you lost weight?’ and other assorted greetings and pleasantries.
It’s been a busy few weeks, mostly on the home life front (saw the National Theatre Live international broadcast of Kenneth Branagh and Alex Kingston in Macbeth, caught up with friends, did some writing, played more Arkham Origins than I should have, and so on).
If I was more on top of things, I’d have blogged before now about the fantastic event I had with George Ivanoff at Eltham Library. George has said many wonderful things about the Vanguard Prime series (in addition to writing the fantastic Gamers trilogy…am I saying fantastic too much? Does this make me the Ninth Doctor?…which any reader with even a passing interest in sci-fi/fantasy or video games should check out), so it was great getting the chance to meet and hold both a Q&A and workshop with him.
We kicked things off with a conversation about the Vanguard Prime series (including some questions about Red Alert and the nature of digital publishing) before guiding the audience through the process of creating a story. While George covered what’s involved in creating a cast of characters, I explained the process of coming up with story ideas and how to then structure your plot. With a little luck, there’ll be a budding writer or two who took away a new idea.
Thanks again to George for making the trip out to Eltham and taking the time to chat about Vanguard Prime. If you’ve since noticed that your sonic screwdriver pen has gone missing, it was the butler what done it.
Speaking of sonic screwdrivers, The Day of the Doctor aired while I was off not posting on this blog. As enjoyable as it was seeing Matt Smith and David Tennant on screen together, I have to admit to being one of the seemingly few people who were slightly disappointed by the episode. That said, it was a massive thrill just getting a peek at Peter Capaldi’s super-intense gaze, so I’m looking forward to the Christmas special and seeing 11 regenerate into 12, even if I’ll miss Matt Smith. Also; Sonic Screwdriver would make a great name for a drink at a geek-centric bar. So much so that I’m sure it already exists.
In addition to seeing the National Theatre Live broadcast of Kenneth Brannagh in Hamlet, my wife and I went to see George RR Martin speak during his recent visit to Melbourne. Being the obsessive nerd type, I’d already heard much of what he talked about through all the interviews with him I’d either already read or listened to in podcast form, but one of the things that struck me was how gracious he was. Appearing with Michelle Fairley, he’d often find ways to redirect questions that the audience had asked directly of him so that Michelle had a chance to answer as well. It was a small thing, but it was something I noticed, and it only added to my respect for him.
Listening to: Space Oddity by David Bowie
Reading: Fortunately, The Milk… by Neil Gaiman
Watching: Downton Abbey