Casting The Prophet would be a tough endeavor for me for a couple of reasons. First of all, I’m a huge movie buff and casting makes the film. Second, unlike some of my contemporaries, I didn’t necessarily have a cast in mind while writing the book. Each character is their own person, not merely me projecting a certain actor into a role. Also, I’m a big proponent of the reader using their own imagination to determine the way that a character looks. In my first book, The Shepherd, the main character was only described as “looking like he could take of himself,” yet I’m sure that readers projected their own image of what he would look like.
So with all that being said, I’m going to run down my list of current actors that could possibly fit the bill for each character and briefly explain why.
Marcus Williams – Hugh Jackman (if he were younger), Stephen Amell, Sam Worthington, Chris Pine, Chris Evans, Jensen Ackles, Henry Cavill
Marcus is my main protagonist. He’s a tortured soul with the frightening ability to get inside the head of a killer, a memory that’s both a blessing and a curse, and a gift for hurting people. The actor playing him would need to be physically intimidating, but also have some acting chops. I think Hugh Jackman could definitely pull it off, but he would be quite a bit older than the actual character. I would also love to see what Jensen Ackles (Dean from one of my favorite shows, Supernatural) could do with the role. He could definitely pull off the smart-ass part of Marcus, but I’m not sure if he could capture some of the character’s other traits. So the most likely candidates would probably be Sam Worthington or Chris Pine.
Ackerman – Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Johnny Depp, Michael Keaton (if he was only younger)
This one is probably the toughest call, but also the role that a great actor could really have a lot of fun with. He’s been described as a less-cultured Hannibal Lecter by a great number of people. He’s cunning, ruthless, extremely intelligent, charming, handsome, and completely insane. I think Michael Fassbender (X-Men: First Class, Prometheus) could really shine in this role. Pitt, Damon, and Depp could also be possibilities but are all past the proper age range. And just for a bit of a wildcard, Michael Keaton. He’s way too old now, but if the movie was made 15 years ago, he could have been great. Don’t believe me? Check out Desperate Measures.
Maggie Carlisle – Amber Heard, Ali Larter, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jessica Chastain
Maggie is the primary love interest and a member of the Shepherd team. She’s strong, but not tough. She’s beautiful, but not girly. She also has deep-rooted personal reasons for being part of the team and suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder. Amber Heard and Ali Larter are a physical match, but neither has really proven herself in dramatic roles. Howard and Chastain are standouts in that department. Any of these actresses could be great, so this one is too close to call.
Harrison Schofield (The Anarchist) – Matthew Goode, Dylan McDermott (wildcard), Zachary Quinto (add-on)
Schofield has endured a lot of pain in his life and is a bit of a reluctant killer. He’s extremely intelligent and analytical and a loving husband and father. I wasn’t sure who to pick for Schofield. Then I saw the trailer for the upcoming film Stoker, and Matthew Goode leapt off the screen.
The Prophet – Billy Connolly, Terence Stamp, Jon Voight, Robert Duvall, Christopher Plummer
I think Billy Connolly or Terence Stamp could be wonderful as the crazed head of the cult in which Harrison Schofield was raised. But any of these actors could pull it off.
Victoria Vasques – Roselyn Sanchez, Ana de la Reguera, Penelope Cruz, Camilla Belle
Special Agent Vasques is very different from Maggie. She’s extremely tough and physical. She likes nothing better than to be kicking in doors and taking down the bad guys. Roselyn Sanchez has proven her toughness in films like Act of Valor and could be a great fit.
Andrew Garrison – Jensen Ackles, Ryan Gosling, Ryan Reynolds
Andrew is the glue that holds the group together. He’s Marcus’s partner and best friend, but he often feels more like Marcus’s babysitter. While Marcus is hot-headed and blunt, Andrew is calm and diplomatic. Any of these three would be great. Reynolds has the most star power, but I’d love to see Jensen Ackles in there somewhere.
Allen Brubaker – Brian Cox
Brubaker is the now-retired, former leader of the team and Marcus’s mentor. They call him the professor for his love of Shakespeare and history. I’ll admit that this is one role where I was thinking of a certain actor, although he’s actually much smaller than the Allen Brubaker from the book. That man is the wonderful character actor Brian Cox. He’s great in any role, large or small.
The Director – Bruce Willis
The Director is the enigmatic head of the Shepherd Organization. And I picked Bruce Willis for this role simply because I love Willis and would want him in there somewhere. He’d actually be a great Marcus if he were a couple decades younger. But since he can’t be Marcus, he can be the guy that keeps him in line.
So those are my picks…but if there’s anyone out there who’s read The Prophet and would like to share their list, I’d love to hear it!
International bestselling author Ethan Cross is The Story Plant’s Author of the Month, which means we are offering sensational deals on his work. You can read more about the program here.