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More Odds, More Ends

Lots of stuff going on that I've been meaning to post about... but there's lots of stuff going on, so I haven't had the time.

Stuff stirring on the comic book front, but I can't talk about that yet. Maybe in a couple months. Maybe sooner. Maybe both.

Cool stuff coming in from Cyanide Studios on the videogame too. Can't share that either. Sorry, sorry.

Melinda and I caught the Swedish film of THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO a couple nights ago at the Screen. Highly recommended. I want to talk about this in detail on my website, on my long neglected "What I'm Watching" page, but, alas, I probably won't. Suffice it to say it was a very faithful adaptation of an excellent novel. I consumed all three of the Stieg Larsson novels (the last when I was in Ireland last year to watch the pilot filmed) and found them terrific reads, but they're quite graphic, and I was worried about how they'd translate to film. Very well indeed, as it happens. At least for this version. (I shudder to think what the rumored big budget Hollywood remake will be like. For starts, they will probably move the whole thing from Sweden to California). Lisbeth Salander is a terrific character, and Noomi Rapace does a superb job of portraying her. (Hollywood, I fear, will soften the character and make her more "likeable," which will ruin her utterly). Anyway, see this. And read the Larsson books, if you haven't done so already.

On the "guilty pleasures" front, I have been meaning to confess how much I enjoy DEADLIEST WARRIOR on Spike. All those gel torsos and pig carcasses, what's not to like? The second season just started here. Not as cool as the first so far, but still pretty cool. Given my predilictions, I like the episodes featuring ancient warriors better than the modern ones. And I still say the Knight was robbed. He was the only pre-gunpowder warrior who had to go up against an opponent with firearms. Not fair. And DEADLIEST WARRIOR also confirms a point I have been trying to hammer home for years, in my books and, more recently, in those Suvudu cage matches -- defense rules. Armor kicks ass. Before gunpowder, give me a suit of plate-and-mail, a stout helm, and a whomping big shield, and keep magic out of it, and I'll make mincepie out of unarmored or lightly armored opponents.

Monkey front. Whacking at King Kong, making progress, but not as fast or easy as I like. But Freaky Monkey is finally coming together, and him I should be able to get off my back in the next few weeks.

Yes, casting is on-going for the HBO series, so I've been seeing a lot of tapes. No, I won't say who, but it's been fun. Some actors are household names who would be recognized by any film or television fan, some are veteran character actors, some are brilliant young newcomers. A wealth of choices. There are a lot of fine actors out there. On the other hand, some of these roles are very challenging, to say the least. (No, there are no obscure hints there). Parts are being cast in roughly the order they will appear in the show, so right now we're mostly concerned with filling parts for the pilot reshoots and episode two. Characters like Lord Tywin (who does not appear until my episode, episode eight) and Shae are not going to be cast until much later in the process.

It's not always going to be the most familiar names who get the roles, either. And to all the dreamers and aspiring actors out there, let me say this -- PLEASE stop sending me your photographs and resumes, I am not the way to get a part on the series. You need to go through our casting director, not through me.

What else, what else? More than I can recall. It's late, and bed beckons. Tomorrow I have to whack at King Kong again.



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May. 7th, 2010 12:48 pm (UTC)
3 quick things
1) GRRM, I love how blasé you say "him I should be able to get off my back in the next few weeks." Just can't wait to get back to Westeros.

2) Re: HBO series, the fact that lesser knowns may get these parts is a huge comfort to me. The last thing I want is to see someone like John Goodman playing Hodor.

3) Any thoughts on LT? Is it too soon? Too sordid?
May. 7th, 2010 04:39 pm (UTC)
Re: 3 quick things
The "freaky monkey" GRRM said he should get wrapped up in a few weeks is Fort Freak, the latest entry in the Wild Cards series. King Kong is then A Dance with Dragons.
Re: 3 quick things - sephen - May. 7th, 2010 05:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: 3 quick things - modesto67 - May. 7th, 2010 08:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 7th, 2010 01:00 pm (UTC)
You know...
Bron beat a fully armored knight.
May. 7th, 2010 01:11 pm (UTC)
I have to say, I did not care for Girl With the Dragon Tattoo very much. It was a bit on the turgid side, but really what bothered me was that Lisbeth Salander was such an obvious Mary Sue OMGoth Superhacker!!!. It really put me off, because she wasn't even remotely believable (and I'd wager that I've met more actual teenage goth hackers than most).

I did enjoy the bits with Mikael Blomkvist a bit more, because he seemed like an actual human being, but not enough to redeem the book.
May. 7th, 2010 01:16 pm (UTC)
First knots, now monkeys... Get this man a boyscout and a zoo keeper!
May. 7th, 2010 01:19 pm (UTC)
Best of luck channeling your inner Carl Denham.
May. 7th, 2010 01:49 pm (UTC)
You can see my photo on the left here. Do you think I would make a good Lord Tywin? My mum thinks so. I ask only for $1M and a few limos with built-in cross-bows.
May. 7th, 2010 01:59 pm (UTC)
I too enjoy some "Deadliest Warrior" when I'm not watching "American Pickers" or "Pawn Stars" on History. I'm excited to hear about new comic book stuff happening and, of course, that the spine crushing ape may be off your back soon. With all this going on, it must be an exciting, albeit hectic, time in your life. Cheers and happy writing!
May. 7th, 2010 02:11 pm (UTC)
Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
I saw this in theatres a couple weeks ago. I really enjoyed it. One thing I will say is that the Scandinavian film makers take their time and let the story flow and develop. I agree that anything done in Hollywood will be half as long and half as good.

Now you just have to go see the other two movies. I saw the 2nd one and will be watching the 3rd tonight :) The second one was good, but not quite as good as the first movie. I haven't read the books yet so I can't say how it compares. You might enjoy KickAss. I thought it would be silly to the point of stupidity, but I was very impressed. Same caliber as Watchmen in terms of superhero movies.

May. 7th, 2010 02:15 pm (UTC)
The knight was TOTALLY robbed! I could not believe they gave that one to the pirate.

By the way- I was watching Beauty and the Beast Wednesday on Chiller and saw you make a cameo on a subway train! Very Hitchcock of you!
May. 7th, 2010 05:00 pm (UTC)
Uh... I did two cameos on BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, but neither one was on a subway train.
(no subject) - blanchemains - May. 7th, 2010 05:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 7th, 2010 02:16 pm (UTC)
You need a vacation!
It sounds to me like you are getting stretched thin. You are working on your book, working on the projects you can't tell us about, working on the show, and I would hazard to guess you are doing some editing work as well. I can only imagine the alligators you are wrestling with in the form of deadlines and pressure from fans and publishers as well.

I think you should just shove every bit of it aside for about a week and just take it easy and enjoy yourself without thinking about work. Easier said than done I know, but everybody deserves a break, and sneaking in a movie and reading a few good books doesn't quite cut it.
May. 7th, 2010 05:19 pm (UTC)
Re: You need a vacation!
I agree! From what I've seen here on the billboard, Mr. Martin is always working on something. Between the HBO script, FORT FREAK, and the other anthology (star-crossed lovers? something like that), he's accomplished more than me this year! (Although I dunno if you can call being in jail an accomplishment, heh.) After FORT FREAK is done with the editing process it'd be nice if Mr. Martin gets a good, long break - he has earned it!
May. 7th, 2010 02:25 pm (UTC)
Knight was robbed.
Not only that, but the pirate had exactly one weapon that could pierce the knight's armor and it had a tendency to misfire. Meanwhile, everything in the knight's arsenal--including a crossbow for ranged attacks--was deadly to the pirate.

Yeah, I get way too into that show.
May. 7th, 2010 02:33 pm (UTC)
The only actor I can ever picture as Twyin is Alan Dale. Not just in looks but in his acting talent also.
Glad to see you mention what you're watching/reading! Even ever so briefly. I'll be sure to check out those books before I watch the film as I never knew it was book based.
May. 8th, 2010 03:59 pm (UTC)
For many years Alan Dale was my favoured choice as well. However, he has a problem with accents (perhaps unsurprising for a New Zealander who worked mostly in Australia before moving to the USA and being called upon several times to play Brits). He can do Tywin's attitude with no problem, but he may struggle with the voice.

I've recently come to favour Charles Dance for the role. I think he'd be great at it. My second choice would be Kenneth Cranham who was Pompey in ROME. Brilliant, underrated actor.
May. 7th, 2010 02:33 pm (UTC)
If it makes you feel any better, the pirate got even more robbed in the season finale when he was lumped in with all the other guys with guns. Pirate vs. Spetsnaz? That's even more unfair than knight vs. pirate.

I feel pretty good about the Spartan being the deadliest ancient warrior, though. That shield kicks some serious butt.
May. 7th, 2010 02:48 pm (UTC)
To Armor or not to Armor
While I myself enjoy "Deadliest Warrior" and "Fight Science," (because they are really fun to watch) the science behind those shows are, quite frankly, lacking. Having personally fought armored and unarmored (as close as could be replicated without actually killing someone anyway), I can say unequivocally that my preference for being armored or not depends on the situation.

If the soldier is only moderately trained, armor is better as they can simply slug it out with a given number of mistakes. If the soldier is highly trained, leave the armor at home it will only gets in the way. Speed kills, if you can hit a small target.

Thus you probably want your soldiers to have armor and your personal guard to have very little.
May. 7th, 2010 02:52 pm (UTC)
Deadliest Warrior
We're addicted to that show - husband and I let our two oldest boys watch with us. What doesn't translate well to the computer, it seems to me, is skill and ruthlessness. Also, while armor is extremely important, second is accurate distance weaponry.
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George R.R. Martin
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