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.
The title for this post pretty much says it all, huh? I mean, there are times to be ambiguous and, clearly, this is not one of those times.
You may have noticed that the banner image above has changed. And if you haven’t seen the image before, allow me to very proudly say that it’s the artwork from Vanguard Prime: War Zone. As with the previous books in the series, illustrator Chad McCown has delivered a beautiful, energetic piece of wraparound artwork which this time features the Vanguard Prime team on the front battling it out with the [unnamed mysterious bad guys] on the back.
You can see the finished product for yourselves when War Zone is released on August 29, but in the meantime you can enjoy the full cover image by clicking below;
But that’s not all! I also have Vanguard Prime: Red Alert news! Penguin has now set up a landing page for the eBook, which means you can find links to it in all its various formats in one handy spot. Click here now to check it out.
If you haven’t had the chance to read it as yet, I highly recommend it as it’s a bite-sized adventure featuring the whole Vanguard Prime team, as well as a variety of new, exciting villains. This is in addition to the first two books in the series available in digital formats at $4.99 – a bargain if ever I saw one!
What else has been going on? Well, for one thing I participated in the pop-up library that Werribee Plaza set up for Book Week, where I got to read one of my favourite picture books (Instructions by Neil Gaiman, if you’re curious) as well as talk with the kids in the audience about writing and storytelling. I’ll make sure to post some pictures when they become available.
I mean, how often do you get a picture of yourself sitting on a giant storybook throne?
‘Til next time.