I cast The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, shielding yourself from the cold, cruel world, you have likely heard about the movie adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s, ENDER’S GAME. When a novel gets the big budget, feature film treatment, one of the biggest concerns of the fans is the cast. Sometimes Hollywood gets it right, but generally the cast is not widely accepted. Fans always have their own ideas on who should play the characters in our favorite books.
Since ENDER’S GAME is one of my very favorite novels, I thought it would be fun to cast to principle characters of another of my favorite novels:
Robert A. Heinlein’s THE MOON IS A HARSH MISTRESS.
If you’re not familiar, one of the best, quick descriptions of the book comes from the Macmillan Publishing website:
“It is a tale of revolution, of the rebellion of the former Lunar penal colony against the Lunar Authority that controls it from Earth. It is the tale of the disparate people–a computer technician, a vigorous young female agitator, and an elderly academic–who become the rebel movement’s leaders. And it is the story of Mike, the supercomputer whose sentience is known only to this inner circle, and who for reasons of his own is committed to the revolution’s ultimate success.”
It’s a novel full of reason, politics, and humor, and I think it holds a number of lessons and liberty and government that would could learn from.
Before going too far into this, I should preface it by saying my selections were influenced by the audiobook version from Blackstone Audio, 1999, read by Lloyd James. I thought he did a fantastic job giving life to these characters on the page. So, here we go…
Manuel Garcia O’Kelly to be played by Edward Norton.
Edward Norton is an actor with great range, which is obvious in films like Fight Club and American History X. In the book, Manny is a cynical realist that has no misconceptions about the world he lives in under the Lunar Authority, or about what it would take to be rid of the Authority. Edward Norton fits the physical appearance, as I imagine it, and would have any problems speaking in an eastern european accent. When listening to LLoyd James portrayal of Manny, Ed Norton is who I see.
Wyoming Knott – Jessica Biel
One of the first things we learn about Mannie’s co-conspirator is she is deeply devoted to the cause of bringing an end to the Lunar Authority, and freedom for all Loonies on The Rock. She’s intelligent, albeit a touch misguided early in the book. She can make the hard decisions, but is not a tough as nails, emotional vacuum. She is described as having a beauty that attracts almost too much attention. With the roles she has played in movies like The A-Team and the remake of Total Recall, Jessica Biel embodies everything that is Wyoming Knott.
Professor Bernardo de la Paz – Sean Connery
If you’ve read the book, you should see why this is a no-brainer. Prof is a sort of mentor to Mannie. He’s wise, articulate, a smartass, and always seems to have a plan…or he’ll make one up as he goes. Not to mention he is also a consummate charmer of the ladies. From James Bond to Juan Sanchez Villa-Lobos Ramirez, Sean Connery has convincingly played characters that were all of these things.
Voice of the HOLMES IV/”Mike” – Lloyd James
It was Lloyd James performance in the audiobook that helped shape my visions for some of these characters, and I feel like he did best job with portraying the computer, “Mike”. When the book opens, Mike had been self-aware for about a year, as I recall, but hadn’t spoken to anyone but Mannie. Mike had a child-like innocence in the beginning that James brought out beautifully, and did an excellent job of evolving the character of Mike as the revolution progressed over the next year in the book. Since this is a voice-only role, Lloyd James fits perfectly.
Stuart Rene “Stu” Lajois – ????
I’ll be honest…I got nothing. I’d want to see a native Frenchman in this role, but I don’t know many french actors and the one’s I do know don’t fit. If anyone has any suggestions, I’d love to hear them.
That’s what I have, folks. If they were making this movie, this is who I would want in these roles. Agree? Disagree? Let me know!