Have some fun casting Secret of the Sands with us!!
It is our #1 dream to have our book made into a feature film. It would make an awesome action adventure movie that would be fun & entertaining for the whole family (or at least those old enough for a PG-rated film). To give you an idea of what Secret of the Sands is all about, it is a little bit 'Indiana Jones' meets 'The Mummy' meets 'National Treasure', in the style of story, the types of characters and the overall feel of the book.
On our MySpace blog we have "cast" some of the major roles. In addition, one of our readers posted additional, excellent casting suggestions for Secret of the Sands characters. I have copied these in below. So, all you readers out there, tell us who you would cast in the various roles, put it into writing so that when the day comes, and it will come (cuz Rai is big on 'the power of intention'), you can see how many of your very own suggestions were on the money!
Rai Aren, co-author of Secret of the Sands
Rai's initial casting suggestions for Secret of the Sands:
Princess Zazmaria: Megan Fox, Monica Bellucci, Patricia Velasquez, Angelina Jolie
Zhek Draxen: Gerard Butler, Javier Bardem
Lord Draxen: Ian McKellan, Ashraf Barhom
Commander Koronius: Jon Voight, Clint Eastwood,
Assan: Arnold Vosloo
Odai: Ali Suliman
Queen Axiana: Aishwarya Rai
King Traeus: Oded Fehr
Prince Alaj: Rodrigo Santoro
Mitch: James McAvoy, Jason Bateman
Alex: Rachel McAdams
Jack: DJ Qualls, Noah Taylor
Bob: Kevin Smith
Professor Dustimaine: Alan Rickman
Here's the casting suggestions for Secret of the Sands one of our readers made. She made some excellent choices & listed even more casting suggestions for characters from the book:
Rachel McAdamx? Really? Well, you are the author and best know your own characters, but that's not the image of Alex I got. McAdams just seems too "cutesy" and not enough "tomboy" for me. I imagined more "classic" features. Unfortunately, I can't think of any currently known actresses who would suit Alex for me right now, so I have to give her more thought and come back to this one later.
Hmmm, I didn't see either of them two either. Again, the author knows their work best, but I just can't at all picture Jason Bateman. And I think of James McAvoy for Jace. As soon as I read the first chapter, the one and only thought I had for Mitch was Gerard Butler.
Jack & Bob -
Wow, I had a completely different image of Jack, but a very close one of Bob. Like with Mitch, my images of Jack and Bob were very vivid right from the start. As for Bob, I totally see where you got that from, however, I did not ever envision Kevin Smith. For me, it was an absolute Jack Black! I didn't envision Noah Taylor for any part, but I did think of DJ Qualls - only for me, Qualls was Ferrell! My initial and only actor for Jack, in my mind, is David Thewlis. Call me crazy, but I could vividly see in my mind David Thewlis and Jack Black together as the "Rogue Squadron". If I had to pick a second choice for Jack, I'd go with Carl Wendham.
LOL Right on the money! Alan Rickman was my choice too. If I had to chose a back up 2nd choice, I'd say Sean Bean.
Another one! I just adore Oded Fehr and he was my Traeus too.
We are on a roll! Thinking alike again, Ashwarya Rai was also my choice.
Back to differing. I initially didn't envision "Xerxes" as anyone and didn't see Alaj as a pretty-boy. Giving it thought after reading your list, I think I see Rodrigo Santoro as Essen. Alaj, to me, is Naveen Andrews - a blend of non-overt handsomeness, softness, yet scariness all-in-one.
I'm not on a completely different track, maybe just in the next lane. I really don't picture Monica Belluci for anyone. Megan Fox is another one that I had on my list, just as a different character - Mindara. Angelina Jolie I can see as Zazmaria, but she's not my 1st choice. She would do alright if my 1st choice wasn't available. My mental picture for Zazmaria is Patricia Velasquez.
Hmm, interesting. Not who I see and Vosloo is yet another one who was on my list, but as someone else - Khamir. For me, Assan is Erick Avari. How can anyone have any movie involving Egypt and not include Avari? Sorry to disagree here, but he is the perfect Assan to me.
Ali Suliman wasn't even on my radar, not even a thought. I saw Odai as young and handsome, with a kindness and intelligence about him. For me, that is Sendhil Ramamurthy.
Lord Draxen -
And yet another one on my list, but in a different role. Okay, so Ian McKellan showed his dark side with Magneto, but he's still Gandalf to me. I just don't see him as sinister enough for Lord Draxen. I see Ian McKellan as Victarius. For me, the embodiment of Lord Draxen could only be Christopher Lee.
Really?! I think I see Zhek completely different. As I already covered, I immediately thought of Gerard Butler, but as Mitch. Javier Bardem was on my list too, but as Koronius. Who I picture in my mind as my initial impression of the perfect Zhek would've been Kevin Tod Smith (remember Ares from Xena?). Most unfortunately, he died in 2002, so I had to think hard as to who else would be suitable, but then it hit me - Billy Zane. He is who I imagined throughout the book as Zhek.
Wow! I never would've thought that, either one of them for Koronius. Jon Voight is also among the many on my list too, but I was picturing him as Devlon Logan. I thought he'd make a great dad for Alex in flashbacks. Like I said in my Zhek comment, I saw Javier Bardem as Koronius.
In addition, regarding other parts, I do not think Mesah, Elenia, or Rodan need to appear or be cast.
I would hold an open call for Tramen (5yrs & 8yrs), Alijia (5yrs & young teen), Uta, Ehrim, and Setar (infant & 3yrs).
Okay, so minus those roles, here's an easy to view wishlist of my cast so far, which also includes some parts you didn't cover...
Devlon Logan - Jon Voight
Alex - not yet sure
Mitch - Gerard Butler
Jack - David Thewlis
Bob - Jack Black
Dustimaine - Alan Rickman
Ferrell - DJ Qualls
Khamir - Arnold Vosloo
Khadesh - John Rhys-Davies
Traeus - Oded Fehr
Axiana - Ashwarya Rai
Mindara - Megan Fox
Alaj - Naveen Andrews
Zazmaria - Patricia Velasquez
Medetha - not yet sure
Amoni - Javin Reid
Assan - Erick Avari
Odai - Sendhil Ramamurthy
Senarra - not yet sure
Essen - Rodrigo Santoro
Victarius - Ian McKellan
Koronius - Javier Bardem
Lord Draxen - Christopher Lee
Zhek - Billy Zane
Jace - James McAvoy
Here's the link to my MySpace profile, where these blog posts can be seen, and where you too can make your choices heard:
Stop by & drop us a line, we'd love to hear from you!