So for the past few days, I've been amusing myself by casting an ensemble for a cinema adaption of Tom Robbins' Jitterbug Perfume -- a large, sprawling mess of a book that covers a bunch of centuries, at least 10 major characters (it's been awhile since I read the book), sex, death and immortality. And there's the Greek God Pan in it.
It's got the following characters: Alobar, King and Condemned Man who wants to live forever; Kudra, an Indian woman that falls for Alobar, he falls for her, and we fall for the couple;Priscilla, genius waitress; Madame Lily Devalier and her assistant, V'lu Jackson; and Claude and Marcel LeFever (Paris); Pan; Bingo Pajama and his bees (a seller of jasmine perfume); and a bevy of wives, concubines, nymphs, people seeking immortality, etc.
And everyone -- except for Alobar, Pan and Kudra and a couple of others -- are trying to figure out what's in this perfume bottle that smells so damn good.
Now, they tried to make a Tom Robbins' novel a book once -- Even Cowgirls get the Blues
-- and was a shite adaptation. Frankly, there's so much in a Robbins' novel that adapting it to film is kind of like the Lord of the Rings -- you risk cutting something into incoherency.
But that doesn't stop the little movie mogul in my head. I've got some people cast and here's my pitch:
Sean Bean as Alobar -- not just because of my minor crush on him right now (stupid soccer thug), but because of the look. For Alobar, you need someone who could be convincing as a battle-weary, slightly aged (not too much tho) king. Granted he's put through some ridiculous situations later, but he's always got to carry that gravitas. Bean's got it to me right now. And frankly, seeing him in a couple dozen (hey, sex is a central point in a Robbins' novel) sex scenes may bring in the women.
Kudra I'm still wrangling in my head. We need an Asian Indian actress (no yellowface here) who is younger than the Bean. I'm imagining in her 20s (it's the book, trust me on this one) who can convey a certain fearlessness, independence, sensuality and just be really, really fuckin' cool. Unfortunately, the only Indian actress I know is Parminder Nagra from Bend it Like Beckham.
The other ones I'm still mulling over it's a hard call because there's so many opportunities for cool casting. I'm thinking Pan should be CG-generated a la Gollum to avoid too much weirdness (not to mention, he spends most the book invisible anyways).
Admittedly, if everything was kept in the novel -- I'm thinking it would be at least three hours. So admittedly, I'm cutting the book in my head too. Damn shame that. You cut one bit, you risk losing a lot.