Now for a discussion about my favorite carnivorous marsupial... the quo?
Margaret: No quolls today, my friend. We're going Hollywood.
Whether you read it, rejected it, loved it or loathed it, The Da Vinci Code is coming out as a movie on May 19 with Tom Hanks playing Robert Langdon, the symbologist turned sleuth. Will it be any good? We'll have to wait and see... Meanwhile, here are a few books we'd like to see made into films and our suggestions for casting the main characters.
H.P. Lovecraft's The Case of Charles Dexter Ward
With his overwrought prose, horror writer H.P. Lovecraft is notoriously hard to adapt. The most compelling of his many tales on film is the comically Grand Guignol Re-Animator. But his best work has never successfully made it to the screen. Set among the 17th- and 18th-century architecture of Providence, Rhode Island, Charles Dexter Ward tells the tale of a young man obsessed with antiquarian research, who discovers that one of his ancestors has been expunged from the town's records ? due to dealings in the black arts. Naturally, CDW gets drawn into the occult and what follows is The Picture of Dorian Gray turned inside out. If Hollywood can line up Rodrigo Prieto, the cinematographer of Brokeback Mountain, to film Providence's "cob-webbed" garrets, "fevered apocalyptic" sunsets, and "mouldering" churchyards, Joaquin Phoenix would make an excellent CDW.
Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods
A hilarious, meandering hike along the Appalachian Trail, this could be the ultimate buddy movie: Sideways meets Grizzly Adams. We are casting Paul Giamatti as the brilliant and erudite Bill Bryson and Jack Black as Katz, his bumbling, out-of-shape sidekick. While we did indicate in our post yesterday that Bryson is the "Orson Welles of travel narrative," Orson Welles has informed us (via seance) that he is working on other projects.
Tim Gallagher's The Grail Bird: Hot on the Trail of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker
This is one of those rare and glorious books about a search for an extinct creature. We think the dramatic re-discovery of a bird species that has been missing since 1944 could be cinematic magic along the lines of March of the Penguins or Night of the Lepus. We cast Richard Dreyfuss as an ornithologist who must overcome skepticism and mosquitoes in his effort to prove the bird really survives. Note: A pileated woodpecker will be the ivory bill's body double.
Brian M. Wiprud's Pipsqueak
Last year we hosted a taxidermy party and contest, and one of the entrants was author Brian M. Wiprud, whose book Pipsqueak features a taxidermy collector who turns sleuth when a coveted stuffed beast is stolen. We think that Pipsqueak could be the next Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, which is why we cast Jim Carrey as the main character, Garth Carson ("Renter, Procurer, Broker and Vendor of Taxidermy"). But who will play Pipsqueak the Nutty Nut, the stuffed-and-mounted squirrel that gets taxidermy-napped?