Saturday, April 2, 2011

Who Plays Who

My wife and I were discussing movies from books the other day. I'd love to say it was because she was trying to cast Rick Frost & the Alaskan Adventure in her head if it becomes a movie. But she was fawning over Matthew McConaughey in the movie version of Michael Connelly's The Lincoln Lawyer. It kills her soul that I've met Matthew.

So that brought on a discussion of books being turned into movies, authors selling the rights of their work, and other things. For instance, a huge part of the conversation was dedicated to who should play Connelly's main series character, Detective Harry Bosch, if the Hollywood folks decide to make other movies with McConaughey as Mickey Haller, the lead character in The Lincoln Lawyer. Bosch is the star of Connelly's universe and the foundation on which everything his fan's love rests. Casting Bosch will be almost impossible because the millions of people who have spent twenty-plus years of their lives with this character will never be happy.

Which brings us to Robert Crais, a writer who has done something rather revolutionary with his main characters. Elvis Cole and Joe Pike have solved crimes together in Los Angeles for fourteen terrific novels. But they have never graced the silver screen. Crais sold the rights of his stand-alone thrillers Demolition Angel, The Two-Minute Rule, and Hostage. The latter was made into a decent movie starring Bruce Willis. But Crais has repeatedly turned down all of the requests for the film rights to Elvis and Joe. He says that no actor can pull off what the fans have in their minds. And he's right.

Would I sell Rick Frost to Hollywood? Would I take Michael Connelly's view, that once the folks who make movies buy the rights to one of his stories they can tell it anyway they want to? Or would I go the Robert Crais route, forgo the money and say that my fans have the only true version of Rick in their minds?

I think I'm a Connelly guy. If someone (and yes, this is a direct message to those in the movie industry) wants to turn Rick Frost into a movie icon, then bring on the emails. My address is And if they want to make Rick older than he is in the books to accommodate whatever actor they choose? Go for it. You buy it, you guys and girls get to tell the story however you want.

Hopefully, you'll do it right and we can all entertain a lot of people. Because that's the business we are in... entertainment.


  1. I'm not I can even fathom a movie with my characters and who would play them. Have you thought of who you'd want to play Rick?

  2. Yes, I have, Jen. And I'll do what a lot of other authors do on their sites, refrain from saying. I know what Rick looks like in my head... kind of. I see his body type, hair color and eye color, but not his face. No clue there. What you see is what Rick looks like, simple as that.