To make things more interesting, I'm raising the challenge level by dispensing with the wayback machine. Only contemporary actors need audition.
Which current actors have the chops to star in a film adaptation of the first-ever Dragon Award-winning horror novel? Let's find out!
Xander Sykes - Nicolas Mezher
If you're going, "Who?" then that's exactly the reaction I'm looking for. Much like the young Mark Hamill in the original Star Wars, the main protagonist of Souldancer will be well served by a relative unknown who doesn't bring a ton of baggage from prior roles. Lebanese actor Nicolas Mezher fulfills this requirement--at least as far as Western audiences know--despite having racked up an impressive acting resume in his native land.
Have him put on a few pounds and shave him bald, and Nicolas will be ready to take his place in the pantheon of SFF movie protagonists.
Another advantage of casting a relative newcomer as this picture's male lead is the lower likelihood of diva behavior. Because like Nethereal before it, Souldancer has a deuteragonist, and Xander/Nicolas will be sharing the spotlight with...
Astlin Tremore - Jane Levy
This could be the most perfect real-life actor to imaginary character match in this series.
OK wait. I've got a picture that better illustrates my point. Hold on a second.
Now we're talkin'.
- Crazy eye: check.
- Covered in (mostly) someone else's blood: check.
- While standing with eerie calm in the middle of a raging inferno: double-check!
Though Miss Levy isn't a real redhead, neither is Jason Patric; and if the dude from The Lost Boys can play Jaren, the star of 2013's Evil Dead remake can play Astlin.
The cherry on top: she's gonna be on Twin Peaks next year, continuing the streak of Soul Cycle actors who've appeared on David Lynch's groundbreaking series.
I rest my case. Next!
Nahel - The motion capture performance of Andy Serkis voiced by Michael Madsen
Only the combined talents of renowned actor-director Andy Serkis and super gravelly Tarantino regular Michael Madsen can bring SD's beloved dog-man-angel-thing to life.
Damus Greystone - Luke Goss
This smooth British actor has the style--and, as proven in Hellboy II, the range--to play the conflicted emissary of a devil-queen.
Thurif - Tom Hiddleston
Here's where the production probably goes into the red. But since he's the only man thus far to deliver an outstanding performance as a Marvel Cinematic Universe villain, Tom Hiddleston will deserve every penny his agent will no doubt demand for him to be cast as Souldancer's initial antagonist.
Plus, let's be honest. He'll bring in the 18-35 year-old female demographic.
Hazeroth - Ray Park
By casting Ray Park as the film's big bad, we get an actor and a stuntman in one! Not only will he help offset Hiddleston's salary, he alone nearly managed to redeem The Phantom Menace.
Zan - Lee Pace
I'd mentioned Lee Pace as a modern contender for the role of Marshal Malachi in Nethereal. He excels at portraying characters that blend varying degrees of sympathy and menace--a skill that will serve him well as the souldancer of air.
Szodrin - Alan Cumming
His elfin looks and his experience playing a teleporting character in an effects-heavy genre film highly recommend Alam Cumming for the role of this renegade Night Gen.
Cook - Joel Edgerton
I'm not just casting Joel Edgerton to fill my quota of Star Wars prequel alumni. He's proven that he can look and act the part of a fighter, for one. For another, and more importantly, he's established a reputation as a solid actor. We'll need nothing less for the conscience of the Souldancer cast.
Tefler - Evan Peters
Honest, I'm not trying to double up on X-Men franchise actors. Evan Peters lands the role of the priest out to kill his own pantheon due to his equal expertise at playing goofballs and psychos. His recurring role in the two most recent X-flicks is most likely due to the fact that Hollywood practically makes nothing but comic book movies these days.
Special Cameo: The Will of Shaiel - Emma Stone
Another prohibitively expensive casting choice, but one mitigated by the fact that we'll only need to pay Emma Stone for about five minutes of screen time before the CG dracolich takes over.
Bonus: part of Stone's five minutes will be spent in the same scene with Jane Levy, once and for all laying to rest rumors that they are actually the same person.
|Jane is rally Emma's final form.|
There are still more roles important enough to justify casting name actors, but I've been working on this post for over five hours now. And I'm tired. So I'm going to stop.
But not before I flog the books. I need to make all this effort pay off somehow.