I’ve just finished the fantastic Gun Machine by Warren Ellis, and the whole time I’m reading it I’m thinking that it would make for, in the right hands of course, an excellent film. And as I’m absorbing this moody masterpiece, I’m casting the characters along the way.
Indulge me as I cast a film that doesn’t, as yet, exist:
Detective John Tallow: Jeffrey Dean Morgan. A solid actor, Morgan played The Comedian in the overlooked but damn good adaptation of The Watchmen a few years back. I think he could pull off the “hard-boiled cop” thing with ease and, more importantly, with believability. Morgan has that swarthy, world-weary look that would lend itself well to the put-upon Tallow.
The Hunter: For some reason, the whole time I’m reading this book I keep thinking of Tom Hardy in the role of the Hunter. Maybe it was his chilling turn as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises that had me thinking this way. Hardy killed it in and as Bronson, an absolutely brilliant film and I think he’d bring a level of menace and perhaps even empathy to the role.
Bat: Jonah Hill. Case closed. The heavier version though.
Scarly: Maggie Grace. A relatively unknown actress, Grace has made her mark in TV’s Lost, a guest spot on Californication as Hank Moody’s latest muse, and in the Dwayne Johnson vehicle Faster in 2010. A decent thespian, I appreciate that she doesn’t seem to obviously have the gothic aesthetic that you imagine Scarly to possess, but I have a case of celebrity crush on for Maggie and it’s my casting damn it! She’s in based on her considerable looks and talent. Welcome to Hollywood!
Of course there are several other characters, both major and minor, but the above are the main players.
No amount of shrewd casting can replace hiring the right director for a film project. My first choice as director of the adaptation of Gun Machine would be David Fincher, at the helm of such films as Se7en, Fight Club and Zodiac. His grim sensibilities and dark tone would be perfect for Gun Machine.