Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sandy Casts Blockade Billy - Stephen King





I know you all know I love Stephen King, whether he is writing a book that will keep me awake at night thinking about dead babies coming to life, an insightful book about crimes against women, or a short story about one of his favorite sports, baseball. He writes, I read. So James (Ready When You Are, C.B.) and I thought it would be fun to read King's short story about a forgotten baseball team and player with a dark past, then cast it. With some sassy arguing, all in good fun of course. Uncle Stevie, listen up!

Set up:

King interviews George Granny Gantham, a retired third-base coach for the New Jersey Titans. Gantham reflects back on the year 1957, when the team lost their catcher to injury, and called the team's Iowa farm system for a replacement. Their answer was Billy Blakely. The result was having his existence, and the associated scorecard, wiped completely from official record.

Casting for Billy Blakely - Kellan Lutz:



Billy is a young farm boy, a strapping, corn-fed fella. And he is an odd duck, in a sweet kind of way. He refers to himself in the third person, and can barely hold an intelligent conversation with his teammates. But he is an excellent player, and defends home base like a murderous bull. In fact, people often get hurt when they're sliding in for a run. In a pure Uncle Stevie-ish twist, we find out Billy has a secret, mysterious past.

Known best for his role as Emmett Cullen in the Twilight Series, I chose Kellan Lutz for his beefy build, those dimples, and that slightly scary gleam in his eyes. Because Billy was in his late teens or early twenties, I knew this role had to be filled by a younger face. He is sure to draw the younger crowd with his association with hunky werewolves and sparkly vampires.

James' choice - Corey Monteith: I won't argue that this young man has a fresh face that could have been born on the farm, but he lacks a certain edge that this character is going to need to pull off Billy. His only serious experience has been with Glee, so he hasn't really proven whether he could shoulder a significant role on the silver screen. Thanks James, but I'll pass.








Casting for Pitcher Danny Dusen - Mark Wahlberg:



Danny Doo was one of the more minor roles in the story, but still memorable for his explosive, prima donna attitude ("Danny Doo is four games from two hundred wins, and he's going to be mean as hell until he gets there"). Initially suspicious of his new catcher, he soon takes Billy under his wing for his own ulterior motives.

I needed to find an athletic actor that was at an age where he would be a seasoned player. He needed to have some kick to his personality and some grit, and of course he needed to look good in baseball pants. Voila! Wahlberg certainly has proven himself onscreen and will appeal to just about any red-blooded female.







James' choice - Tim Roth: Yeah baby! Roth might be a little too old for this role, but put a little makeup on him and get him to lose that oh-so-hot accent. I'm just pissed I didn't think of him first.








Casting for Third Base Coach Granny Gantham - Leonardo DiCaprio



Granny, both in his coaching days and in his golden years, is full of piss and vinegar. He is quite the colorful storyteller, all full of play-by-play stories, cuss words and politically incorrect attitudes towards humanity in general.

I REALLY wanted to cast Leo as Billy, but he is too old for the role. Strange that I went from laughing at him to respecting him, but at this stage in his career, I think he could pull off just about any role that is given to him. And, of course, the world needs to see him in a pair of those baseball pants.




James' choice - Kevin James: I think James was smoking something when he cast this one. Without a doubt, the Nawrot family did like Paul Blart Mall Cop, but there is NO WAY I would cast him at the hub of this film, whether we get him as a bargain or no. It would send a message that his movie is a comedy, which is what Kevin James does best. And this is no comedy. Not even close.







Casting for team general manager Joe DiPunno - Tommy Lee Jones:


Joe is the textbook GM. He is a tough cookie, intense, chain-smokes, cusses like a sailor and defends his team with every ounce of his being. Upon learning of Billy's dark secret, however, he folds, and realizes there is no way to BS his way out of this one.

From the second I met the character of Joe, I envisioned Tommy Lee Jones. No other actor would do.




James' choice - Eli Wallach: OK, the guy has been around the block and is going to get a lifetime achievement award. So that adds some credibility to the film (offsetting that Kevin James disaster). But personally, I think this guy is just a little to old to be managing a baseball team. Good Lord, the guy is 95! No way makeup can get him back to his 60's where he needs to be.






Overall, James has critiqued my casting as being "too sexy". And the problem is? Help me out here people. Is there such a thing as too sexy? I didn't think so.


Do you need to be a fan of King and baseball to enjoy this quick read? Absolutely not. There is alot of baseball-speak, but even if this isn't your language, you won't care. It is fast-moving (on my Kindle, it was one click per page) and full of action, testosterone and a sinister undertone. Definitely worth your two hours of reading time.

Now hop on over to James' blog to see his snarky comments!


4 out of 5 stars






21 comments:

Molly said...

Such a clever way to review a book!

I actually enjoy baseball and have had this book on my TBR list for quite some time. Perhaps I should make it a point to read during spring training.....

farmlanebooks said...

I agree with you on Eli - I think he is too old. Not sure about the rest of the characters - could go either way. Without having read the book I can't make a judgement. Great post idea :-)

JoAnn said...

Stephen King wrote about baseball?? Who knew? Now over to James' blog...

bermudaonion said...

Well, I'd go to see just about any movie with the cast you created, so it is not too sexy!!

Beth F said...

Fun!!! And this looks like a King story I could read.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I think you were looking for an excuse to find a bunch of "yeah, baby" pictures!! :--)

Zibilee said...

Sandy, there is no such thing as "too sexy" and I would have to say that if you were the casting director of this movie, I would drag every girlfriend I have out to see it immediately, and buy it on video. I think there is a man in that line-up to fit every woman's tastes. Great job with this!

C.B. James said...

I love it. Snarky good fun. My post is finally up. Turns out you have to hit the little "publish" button.

I still think Mr. Lutz looks too capable of evil from the outset. That final reveal should be a big surprise.

And I can't think of a baseball movie that's been primarily aimed at women, except the one with Tom Hanks and Madonna. I think a baseball movie with an entirely male cast should appeal to men.

And I so want to do this again sometime.

Coffee and a Book Chick said...

I love doing this -- casting a story yourself is the best! If they only listened to us! :)

ds said...

Haven't read C.B.'s post yet, but I say: lose Leo!!!!! Put Roth in the 3rd base coach role, and keep Tommy Lee Jones (I so adore Tommy Lee Jones).
Now, of course, I need to read the story... ;)

marthalama said...

I haven't read Stephen King in ages but just from your casting I think I want to read this one. And I would definitely see the movie with either cast.

caite said...

ok, I never read this, but I don't like the look of that Kellan Lutz feller.
Wahlberg, Leo and Jones...I would go see that movie.

Julie P. said...

You guys are awesome! I think you need to start doing this as a regular fearture.

Teacher/Learner said...

Cool idea to hypothetically cast the movie version of the book! I love doing this when I read a book, even a movie of it has been made (I try to improve on some bad choices). I like most of your choices, Sandy, but I have to go with James on the Tim Roth casting as TLJ is already typecast as the rough guy. As for Billy, I think Michael Cera might be a better choice.

Melody said...

That's a great idea (and not to mention fun) of reviewing a book! I haven't read a SK book for ages; need to remedy that but then again his latest releases are chunksters to me, and I'm not sure if I want to read this since I'm not really into baseball, ha.

Jenners said...

I'm with you 100%!!!! I love your choices ... and I too think C.B. might be smoking something that affected his judgment!!!

I'm just waiting for Uncle Stevie to pay a visit to your blog one day.

Nicole (Linus's Blanket) said...

Hmm. It's amazing what a nice looking cast you have. might you be indulging in a bit of casting couch?

The Bumbles said...

Thanks for the fun posts - I left my suggestions over at James' place.

I would love to see Marky Mark in baseball pants.

Iliana said...

I love this and I think that's the only way I would go see a baseball movie - if the cast was providing some great eye candy :)

Kim Frazier said...

Nothing too sexy abt your picks, Sandy! I would watch Mark Wahlberg read the newspaper!

Kathleen said...

I love the review!