Today on The Tattooed Book Geek I am pleased to be bringing to you all a guest post by the fantasy writer Jen Williams author of The Copper Cat trilogy and the recently released The Ninth Rain (The Winnowing Flame #1).
Without further ado, it’s over to Jen:
The Forbidden Question: what films would you remake?
Barely a day goes by in internet-land when we’re not gnashing our teeth over the newest remake news. They’re easy to hate (I personally go on full outrage-alert every time whispers of a Back to the Future remake make the rounds) but it’s not always a terrible idea. Here are a few films I would love to see with a fresh new coat of 21st-century paint:
My partner adores this film, and I can sort of see why. It has an epic plot, an utterly crackers villain and lots and lots of lovely swords (not to mention one of the greatest soundtracks ever written). But then it also has one of the weirdest casting decisions of all time. Whenever I watch Highlander, it is through a haze of ‘but why Christopher Lambert? What accent is he doing here? Why that hair? Wherefore the sexiness?’ I would like to see Highlander with an FX budget to match its epic story. Imagine how gloriously grim and gritty the scenes in Scotland could be, how neon drenched and unsettling the modern sections – here is a chance to do urban fantasy on the big screen, electrified with mythic themes and excellent sword fights. I would cast Ryan Reynolds as Connor MacLeod (I can feel everyone hating me already) because he’s a believable romantic lead, and I can just see him dicking around with his immortality and then being full of pathos when people keep dropping dead around him. Get someone in to direct who’s great at sword fights – Ang Lee maybe? – and ramp up the mythical awesomeness. It would pain me not to have Clancy Brown back as the Kurgan, but if I’m being strict with myself and recasting everything, how about Vin Diesel? I think he could chew the scenery nicely. As for Sean Connery’s character, I would like to see Antonio Banderas ‘feel the shtag’.
But we’re keeping the soundtrack.
Now, I genuinely love Krull. I love its full-on embracing of fantasy, it’s genuinely scary bits (the fucking spider, the Beast itself), Prince Colwyn’s weird shiny trousers, and the properly odd fantasy weapon at the heart of it. But these days fantasy films have a lot more credibility, and think what we could do with some bad ass CGI! We could keep the tradition of casting excellent British character actors (long will I treasure a very young Liam Neeson in his scruffy studded jerkin) – bring on Eddie Marsan as Ergo the rubbish wizard, Idris Elba in Neeson’s role, Jason Statham as just anyone at all (as long as I’m casting films Statham will be in everything). We can also add some badass women to make this band of sausages more interesting – Gwendoline Christie as a tough as nails thief, Maggie Smith as Ynyr, Danai Gurira as Torquil, leader of the bandits. The princess in my version of the film (because obviously I get to write the new Krull) will be caught in a game of wits with the Beast, outclassing him at every stage, while Prince Colwyn will be charmingly out of his depth but ultimately brave – it’s almost too easy to cast John Boyega because he would walk it.
The NeverEnding Story
This is a controversial one too (are there any of these that aren’t?) and in a way I completely agree. Like lots of fantasy fans my age, I loved this film as a kid, and for a very bookish child, the vital link between the worlds of Fantasia and the imagination was too perfect to resist. Plus it’s a film that’s full of all the stuff I loved – mainly alarming puppets and scary characters. However, I have chosen this film for a specific reason: I would love to see it animated by Studio Ghibli.
For a start, Ghibli almost specialise in films that are about growing up, or about coming into your own power. In Spirited Away, young Chihiro begins the film nervous and sulky about moving to a new home, but by the end, she is saving the day, brave enough to stand up for herself and her parents (who have been turned into pigs). In Kiki’s Delivery Service, young witch Kiki strikes out on her own, coming to understand her own strengths and building her own independent life. It seems to me that The NeverEnding Story, which starts with the much-bullied Bastion hiding away from the world with a book, carries all the themes that Ghibli do so well: learning to be brave, the importance of self belief, the magic of flight. Plus, I mean, let’s be real – it would be gorgeous. Anime luck dragon, anyone? And brave Atreyu would be the next in the line of stoic and awesome Ghibli heroes, following on from Haku and Prince Ashitaka.
There you have it, any opinion on the choice of films that Jen chose?? I thought it was a really good guest post. Highlander is an old but awesome movie that I really like, The Never Ending Story is a childhood classic and Krull is one of those cheesy 1980’s fantasy movies that you can’t help but have a soft spot for!
About Jen Williams:
Jen Williams lives in London with her partner and their cat. A fan of pirates and dragons from an early age, these days she writes character-driven sword and sorcery novels with plenty of banter and magic, and in 2015 she was nominated for Best Newcomer in the British Fantasy Awards. The Copper Cat trilogy consists of The Copper Promise, The Iron Ghost and The Silver Tide – all published by Headline in the UK – and the first two books in the trilogy are now available in the US and Canada, published by Angry Robot. The Iron Ghost was nominated for Best Fantasy Novel in the 2016 British Fantasy Awards, and she is also partially responsible for Super Relaxed Fantasy Club. The Ninth Rain, the first book in the Winnowing Flame trilogy, is due to be published by Headline in February 2017, and she is partial to mead, if you’re buying.
The cat’s name is Pyra.
Jen can be found:
Books by Jen Williams:
The Copper Cat trilogy.
- The Copper Promise (The Copper Cat #1).
- The Iron Ghost (The Copper Cat #2).
- The Silver Tide (The Copper Cat #3).
Blurb from The Copper Promise:
There are some far-fetched rumours about the caverns beneath the Citadel…
Some say the mages left their most dangerous secrets hidden there; others, that great riches are hidden there; even that gods have been imprisoned in its darkest depths.
For Lord Frith, the caverns hold the key to his vengeance. Against all the odds, he has survived torture and lived to see his home and his family taken from him … and now someone is going to pay. For Wydrin of Crosshaven and her faithful companion, Sir Sebastian Caverson, a quest to the Citadel looks like just another job. There’s the promise of gold and adventure. Who knows, they might even have a decent tale or two once they’re done.
But sometimes there is truth in rumour.
Soon this reckless trio will be the last line of defence against a hungry, restless terror that wants to tear the world apart. And they’re not even getting paid.
The Ninth Rain (The Winnowing Flame #1).
The Ninth Rain Book Blurb:
The great city of Ebora once glittered with gold. Now its streets are stalked by wolves. Tormalin the Oathless has no taste for sitting around waiting to die while the realm of his storied ancestors falls to pieces – talk about a guilt trip. Better to be amongst the living, where there are taverns full of women and wine.
When eccentric explorer, Lady Vincenza ‘Vintage’ de Grazon, offers him employment, he sees an easy way out. Even when they are joined by a fugitive witch with a tendency to set things on fire, the prospect of facing down monsters and retrieving ancient artefacts is preferable to the abomination he left behind.
But not everyone is willing to let the Eboran empire collapse, and the adventurers are quickly drawn into a tangled conspiracy of magic and war. For the Jure’lia are coming, and the Ninth Rain must fall…
I haven’t read The Copper Cat trilogy but I did read and loved The Ninth Rain, you can find my review here:
Purchase The Ninth Rain:
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