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Welcome to the fourth installment of the CASTING BOOKS blog series. In this series, authors choose one of their books, and then discuss their dream cast for a movie based on that book. This installment is written by the superb Jeff Strand.
Casting Graverobbers Wanted (No Experience Necessary)
by Jeff Strand
Though my books tend to have a cinematic feel, I almost never think about who I’d want to be in the movie version. I don’t have actors in mind when I write the characters, and I can’t think of a single instance in my entire bibliography where I have a “perfect” casting choice. I’ve even written a screenplay adaptation of my novel Graverobbers Wanted (No Experience Necessary) without any ideas about who should be paid millions of dollars for playing my characters.
This can prove problematic when one is, say, writing a guest blog about who you would cast in your books. But instead of doing an “I have no idea!” wuss-out, I will indeed share some picks for who I’d cast in my Andrew Mayhem series.
Andrew Mayhem, our bumbling lead…Billy Crudup. He would not be blue and naked as in Watchmen, but he’s probably the closest to my mental picture of Andrew Mayhem, and he can do comedic performances without being a total goofball.
Roger Tanglen, his best friend…Owen Wilson. Actually, I might also cast him as Andrew Mayhem if Billy Crudup passed.
Helen Mayhem, his wife…Bonnie Hunt. It’s worth noting that Bonnie Hunt doesn’t look like Helen as described in the book, and she’s about 15 years older than the character, but screw it, I like Bonnie Hunt. (And yet until I checked IMDB a couple of minutes ago, I didn’t know she’d had her own talk show.)
Theresa and Kyle Mayhem, his children…preferably, some kids who can handle the fame and won’t turn into drug-addicted train wrecks. Maybe Kyle could be a CGI version of Haley Joel Osment capturing what he was like as a little kid.
Bruce and Tony Frenkle, twin brother cops…Morgan Freeman. Because every movie is better with Morgan Freeman. They don’t have that big of a part until the fourth book, Lost Homicidal Maniac (Answers to “Shirley”), but we’d beef up their role to take advantage of the talents of Mr. Freeman.
Samantha Tracer, Roger’s girlfriend…Charlize Theron. And this movie would acknowledge that she’s way hotter than Kristin Stewart.
I guess that’s it. Any and all of these actors are welcome to attach themselves to this project. There are four books in the series, so that means SEQUELS, so you could set yourself up for a few years.
Jeff Strand was born in Baltimore, Maryland, but moved to Fairbanks, Alaska when he was six months old, so his memories of Baltimore are hazy. He grew up in the cold, where he desperately wanted to be a cartoonist. Then he wanted to make video games. Then he wanted to write movies. Actually, he still wants to do all of those things, but for now he’s quite happy writing lots of demented novels.
He was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award in 2006, 2008, and 2010. His novel PRESSURE has been optioned for film; he’s hoping the movie will be made soon so he can scream “My baby! What have you done to my precious baby?!?”
His novels are usually classified as horror, but they’re really all over the place, from comedies to thrillers to drama to, yes, even a fairy tale (FANGBOY).
Because he doesn’t do cold weather anymore, he lives in Tampa, Florida with his wife and two cats.