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'Red Rising': Pierce Brown on adaptation, dream cast; Forster attached to direct

(L) Red Rising cover, (Above) Pierce Brown, (Below) Marc Forster
(L) Red Rising cover, (Above) Pierce Brown, (Below) Marc Forster
Delray Books, Joan Allen, Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

Word broke on Feb. 5 that “World War Z” director Marc Forster is attached to direct another adaptation. Deadline reports that Forster will be helming the screen adaptation of “Red Rising”, a newly-released dystopian novel (the first in a planned trilogy) from debut author, Pierce Brown.

According to deadline, two studios are believed to be looking to get involved, and Joe Roth, Palak Patel and Renee Wolf are set to produce. Deadline also noted that Brown has penned a script for the upcoming adaptation.

Read: 'Red Rising' Review

Just ahead of the release of “Red Rising” Pierce Brown gave this author an exclusive interview, and it just so happens that we discussed the possibility of an adaptation as well as his dream cast.

“That’s the kinda stuff that’s all up in the air,” he began. “We are in the process of looking at making it into a film. But in terms of saying a director or actor, I think it would have to be an undiscovered actor for Darrow and the main characters like Sevro and Mustang,” Brown said.

That Forster is already attached to the project suggests that he and Brown likely share a similar vision for the adaptation. During our interview Brown spoke further about what he would look for in an adaptation.

“I think first and foremost you need to find someone who is first and foremost an actor, not a celebrity to fill the role. Because I think celebrity can sometimes distract from the story, and I don’t think that’s something I want in an adaptation, and I wouldn’t give the rights over to someone who wanted that."

Although the scribe would like to see unknowns bring his main characters to life, he had considered a dream cast for some of the older, tertiary characters.

“In terms of actors for the older roles, I’ve always dreamed of Mickey being either like a Gary Oldman or Christoph Waltz, or like a Johnny Depp,” he said. “And, Fitchner I always thought would be very interesting if played by Paul Bettany after a heavy spell of drinking and/or cigarettes, or...actually that’s all I’ve got for that role,” he concluded, laughing.

In the novel, Mickey is a Carver, a member of the Violet caste, which is comprised largely of artists. Brown describes Mickey as follows: “Mickey the Carver is a scalpel of a man with a crooked smile and black hair that hangs like a puddel of oil down one side of his head. A facial tattoo of an amethyst mask wreathed in smoke winds around his left eye.”

Fitchner, meanwhile, is a proctor at the prestigious academy Darrow is tasked with infiltrating. he is described as: “...a sullen man comes to join me. His unfortunate face is pinched like a hatchet, but he has the Scar and a razor hilt hangs on his hip. His name is Fitchner. A wad of gum fills his mouth. The uniform he wears is black with gold, and it nearly conceals the slight belly paunch that sticks outward despite the faint smell of metabolizers.”

For the uninitiated, “Red Rising”, which was released on Jan. 28, follows Darrow, a miner on Mars who also happens to be a member of the lowest caste in a color-coded society. Personal tragedy causes Darrow to join up with a mysterious group of rebels who reveal to him that he and his people have been being lied to and deceived for generations. He takes on a dangerous mission to infiltrate the ruling class by joining the sons and daughters of the most elite members of society at a prestigious academy that is more akin to a theater of war than a school.

To read the full first installment of this multi-part interview with Pierce Brown, click here.

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