Ever since I published The Lotus and the Gathering Storm, the first novel in The Eagle and Heart Trilogy and my debut as a novelist, friends and readers have asked me who I would cast in a film version.
To be honest, this was something I never considered while I was writing the novel. I didn’t want a face attached to the characters in my mind nor did I want a particular actor’s voice taking over the voice of my characters in my head.
However, with book two written and book three underway, I feel like at this point, my character voices and personalities are solidified enough that a little fantasy casting wouldn’t hurt. In fact, it might be fun. So, for those of you who have wondered, here’s part one of a proposed cast-list for The Lotus and the Gathering Storm: The Movie. In this article I’ll be focused on the central couple and the nobles of Avalon.
High Prince Altair–Avan Jogia
Okay, this one is really tough for me and for my central pairing of Altair and Whelan, what I’d really love to see are actual members of the LGBTQ community. Unfortunately, as I was thumbing through and looking at the careers of out actors, I didn’t find anyone who really jumped out at me to play this role.
What I do know about Avan Jogia is that he is an immense ally to the LGBTQ community and that is a good start.
The biggest thing outside of being on the queer spectrum is that Altair is meant to be darker skinned. His golden-brown skin is a hot topic throughout the novels–I imagined Altair as either Latinx or Indian–and I think Avan, who is half Indian, could be a good choice for that, though I’d love to find a young queer actor of color to play the role. Anyone have suggestions? Please tell me!
Prince Consort Whelan–Ben Platt
Okay, hear me out. Ben Platt might not be the romantic lead that first pops into your mind, but he’s a talented actor with a beautiful singing voice and he could totally pull off the role of the Water Elf prince.
Like Whelan, he’s all soft edges and not the “warrior” type, but I think he’s got the chops to pull off not only the romance but also the magic-wielding bad ass that Whelan must be from time to time.
What I love most about Ben, however, is his sense of humor. He’s got that twinkle in his eye that just works for Whelan.
High King Nocto–Naveen Andrews
He has the poise, the bearing, and the brilliant smile of the High King of Avalon who stepped aside to make way for his son to ascend to the Throne of Night. Naveen is everything!
High Queen Niera–Rachel True
Rachel True is a magnetic actress with the bearing of a queen. I would love her as the High Queen of Avalon. I also think she’d make a great counterpart to Naveen.
King Alain of the Water Realm–Colin Farrell
Ugh, I just love Colin Farrell, and I think he’s got the proper bearing and sense of humor to play Whelan’s father. Furthermore, and not for nothing, he’d look fabulous in a loincloth while racing the current. LOL
Queen Aquatta of the Water Realm–Kate Winslet
So, here’s the thing, does she look old enough to be Ben Platt’s mom? No. But listen, Elves age differently and I think she’s got the chops to do it. I also think she’d be great as an Elf. She has that ethereal quality that works for fantasy.
Great Healer Magala–Janelle Monae
There is simply no other choice for me. This beautiful, gender-queer musician and actor is Magala, Great Healer of the Blood Elf clan.
Timai, Heart-Mate of Magala–Angel Haze
Pansexual, agender Angel Haze has exactly the kind of energy for Timai, and I honestly think they’d be wonderful in this role.
King Albara of the Forest–Sean Bean
Let’s face it, the man was born to play kings…and he would even get to live this time!
Queen She’an of the Forest–Michelle Pfeiffer
Michelle Pfeiffer would be the perfect counterbalance to Sean Bean’s energy. I would love to see these two work together and she has that noble, earthy energy that I love so much about She’an.
King Heller of the Fire Realm–Jason Isaacs
Mr. Isaacs doesn’t get nearly enough opportunities to flex his warrior king muscles and I think he’d be brilliant in this role!
Queen Daimona of the Fire Realm–Julianne Moore
I just really need Julianne as my Fire Queen. Don’t ask me why. It just works for me.
Queen Alhambra of the Plains–Eva Longoria
The Plains Elves are the only clan of Elves that are solely matriarchal. In my mind, that makes Eva Longoria perfect. She has the bearing, the know-how, and she’s proven herself as an activist and leader. I think she’d be amazing in this role.
Great Captain Zephyra of the Dark Elves–Kate McKinnon
Some of you might be scratching your heads, but I love Kate for this role. Zephyra is one of my favorite characters to write mostly because of her irreverence and her wickedly dry sense of humor. Plus, this would give McKinnon a chance to stretch some of her drama muscles, as well. I’d love to see her take on the leader of the Dark Elves.
Caledonia, First-Mate of the Dark Elves–Cara Delevingne
I absolutely loved Cara in Carnival Row and I think she has exactly the right energy to bring Caledonia to life. Vulnerable, funny, and a total badass when she needs to be–wait until you see her in book 2!
That’s it for part one of fantasy-casting The Lotus and the Gathering Storm. Have suggestions? Let me know in the comments!