Dreamcasting Books as Movies: Edition #1
I have had an idea for a book for three years that I have started and stopped writing numerous times… and I would still say that what I’m about to post has been the hardest thing I’ve ever written.
That’s right, it’s time for my first ever edition of dreamcasting books as movies!
This combines my love of books and movies into one and I was so excited to brainstorm all the different possibilities. Getting the chemistry between the cast, nailing the looks and feels of each character… it was going to be awesome.
Whenever I read a book, I can often perfectly visualize it as a movie.
It doesn’t always work, but some books just jump off the page and you think, “Gosh, I’m going to watch this on TV or in theaters one day.” You just know, you know?
I picked one of my recent reads that I thought screamed screen-material and picked a handful of the major characters from it to cast.
And then I realized… I’m old!
Okay, I’m not. I’m 23.
But as I was thinking about each of these books and the ages the characters were supposed to be, I realized none of my favorites would do. Ryan Reynolds, Ryan Gosling, Matthew McCounaghey, Kate Hudson, Reese Witherspoon… everyone is too old!! Do I even know any 20 year old actors?!
In Five Years Check out my summary and review of In Five Years if you need to be reminded of more specific details. I chose the “love-square” to cast today — Dannie, Bella, David and Aaron/Greg. As a brief summary, Dannie, a Type-A, perfectly-coordinated woman and her perfectly-matched fiance David are engaged and following a pre-planned timeline. But one night, Dannie wakes up five years in the future, in a new apartment with a new guy, Aaron. She goes back to her life, confused and shocked, but moves on. Until four and a half years later, her best friend for life and free-spirit Bella introduces her to her new boyfriend… and it’s Aaron/Greg!
I almost made this a Glee reunion because 1) I love Glee, 2) I love the cast of Glee, and 3) the cast who are still best friends in real life have such great chemistry that I think it could work! I changed my mind, but still. Consider Lea Michele here.
After much deliberation, I cast Gina Rodriguez as Dannie Kohan.
I visualized the engagement and law firm scenes when choosing Gina. Just imagine her as a Type-A lawyer, all business suit and confidence. She could rock it. Gina does such a good job of playing a wide variety of characters that she’s never been typecast. Jane the Virgin is one of my all-time favorite shows and introduced us to Gina. Contrast Jane with Gina’s starring role in Netflix’s Someone Great, and as Miss Bala. She can do it all, and I think she’d shine here.
She has the emotional depth, relatability and kind heartedness necessary to pull off Dannie.
I cast Henry Golding as Dannie/Gina’s love interest. I loved Henry in Crazy Rich Asians and can see him being the hardworking, determined guy going along with Dannie’s scheduled life. Many scenes of Henry Golding in a suit sounds like a movie I’d pay to see any day.
Also, I think the two of them visually would be stunning together, but we may be able to sense something slightly off about it. Are they perfectly matched? I want the audience to think about that as they watch.
Again, think about the engagement scene. We already know Henry can pull off one of those beautifully. Let’s get round 2 on the way.
(Also he deserves more after Last Christmas, let’s be honest.)
Bella was the hardest for me to cast. As Dannie’s best friend, the two of them needed to have chemistry that spans wide personality differences and also time. She needs to be naive, rich and beautiful, as well as warm, a hopeless romantic, spontaneous and carefree.
My list was far too long and I didn’t think I was perfectly hitting the mark on any of them. I ended up in a personal battle between the Lilys: Lily James and Lily Collins. I wound up going with Lily James.
I think she has a worldliness about her that she will carry into the role. Also, I’ve been impressed with her emotionality in other movies and think she will bring that to Bella. I can see Lily and Gina being friends while also being wildly different individuals.
The biggest factor was whether I thought audiences could believe her, love her and root for her. I think Lily can handle the weight of that.
Finally, we get to Lily’s significant other, and maybe Gina’s? Who knows?
I cast Scott Eastwood here. Panned by critics but adored by me, I loved Scott in Nicholas Sparks’ The Longest Ride and I loved him even more in Taylor Swift’s music video for Wildest Dreams.
Scott is hot, undoubtable, which I want Aaron to be. He and Lily James would make such a photographic couple. I also think Scott has some quality about him that makes him seem like a good guy, down to earth and reliable; he just seems like he’d be in it for the long haul. I have no idea how to describe that.
I need audiences to believe he is obsessed and in love with Bella, even after such a short amount of time together. He wouldn’t leave or betray her. I feel that with Scott.
Which is why I also think he and Gina together, while similarly a gorgeous couple, seem more mismatched. How could they end up there, when he fits so well with Bella?
So, that’s my dreamcast for In Five Years! What do you think? Anything you’d change or disagree with?
What book should I cover next? I’m thinking Oona Out of Order, or Such a Fun Age since it’s already confirmed to be adapted!