Tuesday, May 1, 2012

You Oughta Be in Pictures: Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, College Hoops

 Kady has clearly spent some time thinking about this casting thing:

I love imagining my favorite books as movies. How would it have to change for the big screen? Should it be a small indie piece or a great big blockbuster? What's the soundtrack going to be like? And most importantly, who is the perfect cast?

Nico's request for books that we want to see made into movies came right as I was finishing a series re-watch of the great high school football drama Friday Night Lights. So in honor of my favorite high school TV experience, still fresh in my mind, I'll be casting this book-to-movie pick straight out of Dillon, Texas. (And seriously, if you haven't watched Friday Night Lights stop reading this and go do that. I'll meet you back here in a few days.) 

The Final Four by Paul Volponi came out earlier this year, just in time in the NCAA March Madness Tournament and it follows 4 players on two opposing teams as they compete in overtime, then double overtime, and finally triple overtime for the chance to make it to the championship game.

Why I Think It Would Make A Good Movie: There's lots of action, as the entire book takes place during the final minutes of this closely contested game, so sports fans should be satisfied. There are also numerous flashbacks, establishing our four main characters and their very, very different motivations for playing. Working the flashbacks into the action could be kinda tricky, but in the hands of the right screenwriter and director this could easily be the next Hoosiers. Full disclosure, I've never actually seen Hoosiers, but I do know that it's the big deal basketball movie that all basketball movies have to be compared to.

Gaius Charles
Used with CC license from
Dream Casting: There are four main characters, one girlfriend and one sister who make the most impact so we'll start there.

As Malcolm McBride the super cocky, media loving, freshman phenom who is getting out of college ball as soon as he is eligible for the NBA draft, there's really no other choice but Brian "Smash" Williams and the actor who plays him: Gaius Charles.

Michael B. Jordan
Used with CC license from Sachyn
Malcolm sister, Trisha McBride, has a small role but a huge impact on Malcolm's development. Jurnee Smollet has had a career of making big impacts with small parts and I think she'd acquit herself nicely here.

For Michael Jordan, the college hoops player trying to live up to a very big name with a little skill and a lot of heart? Duh. That'd be Michael B. Jordan. In addition to the name, no one can do earnest like this kid.

Jesse Plemons
Used under CC license from
Roko Bacic is a tall redhead from Croatia. He moved to the US to finish out his high school years after a favorite uncle was killed while trying to expose corruption in their home country. He's the epitome of a team player and really just happy to have something he loves paying for his college tuition. There aren't any gingers in Friday Night Lights and I don't know if he can pull off a Croatian accent, but Jesse Plemons aka Landry Clarke has a lot of experience being the heart AND backbone of a team and I'd like to see him give basketball a shot.

Matt Lauria
Image from here.
Oh Crispin Rice. The quintessential nice boy who just wants to do his family and team proud and then marry the girl of his dreams. Who he proposed to on live TV. After sinking a game winning shot. After having dated her for 5 months. You silly romantic boy, you're going to be played by Matt Lauria, whose FNL alter ego once traded his prize pig for a shot at the girl of his dreams.

And finally we have Hope of Troy: the cheerleader dating the captain of the basketball team, who was so excited and overwhelmed that she said yes right away, but now may be having second thoughts. Minka Kelly has the absolute lock on cheerleaders torn between standing by their man and growing on their own, let's see what she does with this part.

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