Let's pretend, shall we, that we were making a movie out of Monster Attack Network, our book about a Pacific island that's lousy with giant monsters and the organization that keeps the populace safe and rebuilds after those giant monsters flatten everything. (What, you haven't read it yet? There's a link just to your right: click and buy. We'll wait.)
So, who do we cast? Because that's all part of the pitch: building an image in the pitchee's head of the movie it would be. We've got three main leads, and a villain. Our hero, Nate Klinger, is a four-square tough guy with a sly sense of humor. If this was 20 years ago, you'd want Harrison Ford. Thirty years: Burt Reynolds, or maybe Clint Eastwood. Sadly, we pretty much don't build actors like that any more. But I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that, strangely, we'll find the guy we want overseas. Ewan McGregor could pull it off, but he can read a little slight. Russell Crowe's a hair too old, but could work. Hugh Jackman might fit right in. But the dude I really like? Kevin McKidd, late of Journeyman and Rome. A real solid dude, with on-screen heft, who's face looks like its been hit once or twice. Salt of the Earth.
Now, for our female lead, the sultry, mysterious Lana Barnes. The temptation is to go straight to Rosario Dawson. As the saying goes, I wouldn't kick her out of the movie for eating crackers—and she'd be totally fine—but I like Moon Bloodgood for this one. Exotic without looking weird. Drop-dead gorgeous. And she'll be coming off the new Terminator flick, so maybe she'll have some heat.
Nate Klinger's second-in-command at the ol' Monster Attack Network is Zeke Holder. Big, black, and dapper. (And gay, but not that you'd know it.) Again, there's a knee-jerk desire to see Michael Clarke Duncan here, and he'd be fine. But I'm gonna throw out two more: Common, the rapper who was in Smokin' Aces, shows up in Wanted (I think), and also signed on for the new Terminator movie.
And, go with me on this one, Michael Jordan. When we were explaining how Zeke should come across to Nima Sorat, our artist, we told him to imagine a basketball player in one of those flashy post-game suits. Big, and muscular, but not hulking. Smooth. And Jordan always had charisma coming out of his gilded arse. It'd be surprising, and I think people still have a lot of love for him.
Finally, the villain. We described him as Malcolm McDowell-meets-Donald Trump. But I don't know if that guy really exists. Thinking about it now, it'd be a hoot to get someone like Tom Selleck. Especially after seeing Ted Danson as a baddie on Damages; maybe there's something to taking old friendly TV faces and subverting that perceptional-baggage for evil.
So, is that a cast you'd pay to see...as they run from massive beasties? I would.