A game like to play with myself is “who would play my characters if I was ever fortunate enough to get a movie contract.”
Admittedly, I’m aware that it’s unlikely I would actually have any control over the process, at least not at this point in my career. If someone called tomorrow and wanted to option Woken or something, I just don’t have the clout to demand Rebel Wilson play Ophelia. I could ask nicely, I’m sure, but I doubt it’d have much effect. And that’s not accounting for the times the actor that I think would be just perfect is dead or past the point where they could pull it off.
Still, it amuses me, so I feel like sharing. Assuming I had complete creative control and the exploits of Vlad Tepes after his car accident were to be filmed, here’s my choices for the cast:
Rob Lowe – Vlad Tepes
Lowe might have a little trouble pulling it off these days – his age and his misspent youth are finally catching up to him – but I think he can do charming, quiet menace if he wants to. Plus his stare can be unsettling and yet captivating at the same time, which is a bonus quality for the Prince of Darkness. He also has a habit of pulling off oddly paced speech – seemingly out of place pauses and beats between thoughts – that doesn’t sound bad, which would fit Vlad after his “upgrades.”
Kevin Bacon – Dr. Franks
He’s got an ego eight miles wide, the ability to do breathy, creepy accents and talk to himself and make it seem “normal,” and has a disturbing facial structure that just seems “off” without being completely repulsive. That makes him my pick for mad scientist (and usurper to Vlad’s throne) Dr. Franks.
Bill Nighy – Abraham Van Helsing
Cultured, grandfatherly, and no stranger to bursts of violence between scholarly pursuits, Bill Nighy gets my vote as the elder Van Helsing for flashbacks. I also think he could play well off of Lowe’s Vlad in a frenemies situation. Plus, it’s about time he gets a role that isn’t “evil”; letting him be one of the good guys for once feels to me like its long overdue, especially after things like Underworld and I, Frankenstein in his backlog.
Nick Frost – Isaac Van Helsing
Everything his grandfather isn’t, Isaac is overweight, unintentionally funny and a bit of a klutz both physically and socially. He’s supposed to be inept, and even in his “triumph” over Vlad manages to screw it up, bigtime. But there’s an undercurrent of potential there, the idea that if he could just get his act together, he might make something of himself, and he’ll get that chance once Vlad lays hands on his would-be assassin. Given his long-running status as the comic relief and “best pal” in film – often when paired with Simon Pegg – I think Isaac’s pseudo-redemptive hero’s journey would make a good fit for Nick Frost.
Melissa McCarthy – Monica Harkness
Possibly the descendent of, and a dead-ringer for (given a little weight fluctuation) Vlad’s lost Mina Harker, Monica gets caught in his wake when Vlad’s gargoyle attendant nearly runs her over on his way to a chubby chasers convention. When Vlad notices her, though, he’s tempted to put off his vengeance with Isaac and his issues with Franks for the chance to have his love back. Melissa McCarthy brings an “I’m me, and I don’t care what you think” attitude that I think would suit Monica well, especially for scenes where Vlad might have difficulty dealing with the concept that while she might look a lot like his lost love, might even be her, reincarnated, she’s her own woman, and isn’t going to let him forget it. She’s also immensely entertaining and plays well off both straights (like Vlad or Teddy) and other comic-relief (like Isaac or Brand.)
Christopher Walken – Mr. Brand the Gargoyle (voice acting)
Brand is a tough-talking imp from Brooklyn, a purveyor of Rubenesque ladies, loud vehicles and self-deprecating humor. He dresses and talks like a two-bit hood, often interrupting himself with anecdotes and side thoughts that seem to have no bearing on the conversation and requiring a stiff smack upside the head to get him back on track. When I was initially writing him, I was picturing Walken in The Prophecy mixed with his character in Suicide Kings and a healthy dose of Joe Pesci blended in. (And, in case Walken isn’t available, Pesci would make a good backup.)
Jonah Hill – Teddy Stevens
A basement-dwelling computer genius hired by Brand to help Vlad figure out all that new-fangled technology implanted in his dome, Teddy is destined to be the first of Vlad’s new children of the night, a cybernetic vampire. For having the right look, a good sense of sarcasm and comedic timing, and the ability to pull off an action scene if the script requires it, Jonah Hill is my nominee for the role.
So there’s my ensemble cast for Blood and Steel; what do you think? Someone else you’d suggest? (If you’d like to take a look at the manuscript so far, it can be found right here). What about your own work? Who’d play your heroes, heroines and villains?
Let us know in the box below!