Casting the Novel: The End Begins: The Nine

A warm welcome is due today to Jeffrey Zweig II who joins us again on the blog for a fun guest post that plays off of both his career as a novelist and his film making experience. Today, Jeff is going to give us the scoop on his dream cast for The End Begins: The Nine, available now on Amazon in both print and kindle editions. Thanks for joining us, Jeff!

Hello Readers!

Before we get started, let me thank Gwen for letting me post on her blog today. It’s an honor and I’m happy to oblige.

Before becoming a writer, I was a film maker. I took it seriously in high school and throughout college leading into getting my major in 2008 from Indiana State University. Throughout that time I’ve directed, acted, produced, wrote, been a production assistant, and been an extra. One of my dreams during that time was to have one of my screenplays be a Major Motion Picture, That still holds true today.

I’m always on the lookout for actors who could play the roles of the characters I create. I like to at least know what my characters would look like in the real world given the choice.

Not being so heavily involved with film making these days, I have to go off of stuff I’ve seen that I’ve liked, has made the news, or become popular so most of my choices will be known to an American audience. I’ve no qualms going another direction if an actor can perform the roll.

Cassarah Telmar, our young Alchemist of the Nine, was a hard decision. Cass is young, but has a maturity and discipline going beyond her years. She shows this through her words and her natural demeanor. The role requires the ability to play off an awkwardness from other characters that are “in the know” to the norms of the world she’s experiencing for the first time. The role would also require actress to be heavily involved in the action aspect of the film.

My choice for Cassarah Telmar would be Emma Stone.

I’ve familiar with Emma Stone from her roles in ZombieLand and Crazy Stupid Love. I feel she has that potential for a role like Cass. Her face is so expressive – emotion comes through so subtly, I feel she has the chops to deliver the right kind of characteristic-atmosphere – a know it all like Bones (from the TV series of the same name), pulling off the oblivious super nerd while going through some growing pains. Though one might question her in the physical portion of the role, I think if given some training she could pull it off.

James Kesumare has the look of a young guy but shows hints that he’s anything but. At the beginning of the book he’s a very typical teenager who’s thrown into this parallel world with a magic sword and is the center of the villains plot. But by the end of the movie he’s in the thick of the action spouting stuff about wibbly wobbily, out-of-this-world sciencey stuff while blasting bad guys with laser powers. The actor has to showcase that change and be able to be physically capable of the role.

The role of James, for me, would go to Anton Yelchin.

I first saw him in 2009 when Star Trek and Terminator 4 came out. It wasn’t until I saw him in the remake of Fright Night that I was convinced that he could do the job. Evidence from The Beaver and Law and Order helps me to solidify that decision.

Just on appearance he looks young (he’s only twenty three), but he’s shown an immense amount of talent from portraying a vast amount of young men’s roles with such variety and believability – this role would fit him since James makes such a dramatic change on his adventure. Anton had had very physical roles in action movies as well that plays in his favor, having done stunts and seems to like actions, paranormal, scifi films.

Caleb Knight is a mess all his own even being older and more experienced than the rest of the trinity. He is divorced, lost a child, he’s been battling one war or another for half of his life. And now he’s on this crazy adventure that continues to bend backwards almost everything he knows about the world. Yet he remains a rock of stability whereas Cass and James are anything but.

Also the choices I have are American actors, where someone like Caleb is obviously going to be from Europe and might have an accent, I’ve chosen a person who has the ability to change himself for a role, and one who could slip right in.

My choice for Caleb would be Christian Bale.

Bale’s known for gems like American Psycho, the recent Batman franchise, among other things I like such as 3:10 to Yuma, the Fighter, and Terminator 4. He’s got the chops for a role like Caleb who is a war vet having to deal with a complex mission and his own feeling towards the crew he’s raveling with. Bale is able to put himself into many different roles, have different accents, change his appearance. He also has the physical capability and the presence that the role requires. He would help add some weight and experience to a group who are rather young.

Thanks again for Gwen hosting me! She’ll be posting something for my blog very soon. In the meantime, please check out my book on Amazon right now!