The entry begins:
It would be a denial of epic proportions to say I’ve never considered who might play the lead characters in a film adaptation of The Lost Saints of Tennessee. Here’s the dream cast I think could make my story about three generations of a working-class Tennessee family come alive on the screen.Learn more about the book and author at Amy Franklin-Willis's website, her Facebook page, and Twitter perch.
Ezekiel is our main character/anti-hero. When we meet him, he’s 42 and living in a converted shed behind his mother’s house in Clayton, Tennessee. After the loss of his twin brother in a mysterious drowning ten years before, grief and guilt have wrapped themselves around Zeke so tightly that he withdraws from life. My top pick to play Zeke is Matt Damon. This might seem an odd match since Lost Saints is a fair distance from Jason Bourne but I’ve seen Mr. Damon in “softer” movies of late like The Informant and We Bought a Zoo and he possesses the key element for Zeke—vulnerability. Damon also has a high likability factor and if the audience is going to go along for the ride on this redemption story/hero’s journey, they must like Zeke. His character will prove frustrating and the audience may want to throw things at the screen when he makes one of his dumb decisions but they must like him enough to want to see him triumph in the end. Women are drawn to Zeke’s handsome face and innate, though complicated, goodness and Damon is certainly easy on the eyes.
After Zeke, we have to cast his mother Lillian—who is in her early sixties and facing a life-threatening illness. Lillian exists in that pantheon of grand Southern mothers who can chain-smoke, dominate their families, and look fantastically tragic all at that same time. Casting requires making the choice to use a younger actress who can pull off the scenes that take place when Zeke is growing up and then aging her as the story moves through time or using two different actresses, a younger one and an older one. If we choose the two actresses route...[read on]
My Book, The Movie: The Lost Saints of Tennessee.