Sunday, April 08, 2007

"Days of Rage," the movie

The publisher's description of Kris Nelscott's Days of Rage reads in part:
It’s 1969 and the city of Chicago is in turmoil. The celebrity trial of the Chicago Eight -- charged with inciting a riot at the 1968 Democratic National Convention -- has begun. Protests abound over the trial and the conflict has caught the attention of everyone from the Black Panthers to city gangs to local trade unions.

Meanwhile, African-American P.I. Smokey Dalton and his adopted son, Jimmy, are keeping a low profile. They’ve been on the run from their native Memphis since Jimmy witnessed the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., but have slowly settled into a steady life in Chicago. Smokey continues to accept cases and to inspect property for Sturdy Investments, the real-estate company owned by Laura Hathaway, his on-again, off-again girlfriend.
So who would you cast as Smokey Dalton in the film adaptation of the novel?

Award-winning author Kris Nelscott has no doubt -- if she could choose any actor from any period:
Sidney Poitier is Smokey Dalton. Hands down. The man whom they call Mr. Tibbs has the right combination of pride, toughness, and intelligence to play the hero of these novels.

But Smokey is in his forties and Sidney is no longer, unfortunately. So I’ve played with the idea of many different actors playing Smokey. All would bring something different.
Read on to see the contemporary contenders for the role, and to get Nelscott's view of actors for the supporting roles.

--Marshal Zeringue