Who should play Papa?  That was the first question that hit me.Shackover

I saw yesterday that Willie Young’s publishers agreed to film rights through Lionsgate for the controversial bestseller The Shack.  For the record, I liked the book.  True, it has some flaws in terms of plot, conflict, and character development, but hey, don’t we all to some degree?  I mean, the last perfect novel I read was To Kill A Mockingbird.  The theology of The Shack didn’t bother me either.  Some people went crazy over the book’s portrayal of the all-to-human theophanies.  It’s fiction people, theologically informed fiction, but still fiction.  For dogma and doctrine, go to church for-crying-out-loud.

But I am not here to talk about the book.  I’m here to help cast it.  Early reports said Forest Whitaker was directing and staring in it (I presume as Mack) but now it looks like Stuart Hazeldine is the director.

There are really only four characters in the novel.  I apologize if my casting of these seems or feels racially motivated, because I don’t operate like that and it is not my intention.  However, Young is so specific in the novel about the ethnicity of the Godhead, that, well, it kind of has to be that way.

Mack–Need a thirty or forty something year old white man.  Maybe we could go with Ed Norton here.  If he could bring the edginess of his Fight Club character, that would give Mack the angry bite he needs.  If not Ed Norton, then Jeremy Renner.  It needs to be someone who broods.  If it is a no-go for Renner or Norton, then may I humbly suggest we go for insane instead of brooding, which leads us to Bradley Cooper.

Papa--Need a black motherly figure.  The obvious choice is Oprah Winfrey, but hey, that is too obvious.  It is apparent to me, and just about everyone, that Willie Young ripped his Papa character straight from The Oracle in the original The Matrix film, but she is dead.  Della Reese would work.  It would be almost the same role she had opposite Roma Downey in Touched By An Angel.  Her age might be a problem, though.  So how about Queen Latifah.  Yep.  I think we have a winner.

Jesus–Middle Eastern carpenter.  There can only be one answer.  Tony Shalhoub.

Sarayu–Asian female.  Again, pardon the type casting, but I think I got it.  We must cast Rosalind Chao in this role.  Think about it, she could almost do it the same way she played Robin William’s heavenly daughter in What Dreams May Come.  I know, brilliant, right!  Besides, Miles O’Brien would be so proud of her.  If she doesn’t want to do it, then, let’s keep the sci-fi jazz with this and go with Grace Park.

Okay, so those are my casting suggestions.  I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.


What would you name your rock band?  It is something I’ve given a lot of thought to, and it came up again this weekend.

Last week I had the joy of watching yet another teen flick.  Okay, I was taken kicking and screaming, but that is beside the point.  My youngest sprout had read the book If I Stay and wanted to see the movie.  So off we went . . . to the matinee, of course. There is no way I was paying full price for this.

Here is a quick review of the movie–Throw in a dash of Romeo and Juliet, a bit of Titanic, sprinkle some Walk to Remember and now one teaspoon of The Fault In Our Stars and viola–If I Stay is born.

The Sequel Should be Titled 'Portland, My Heart Will Go on'
The Sequel Should be Titled ‘Portland, My Heart Will Go on’

The acting was uneven.  Stacy Keach plays the grandfather, and he is, as always, terrific.  The mom and dad roles are done well, but the two main actors, the girl and the boy, are dreadfully wooden and uninspiring.  That’s okay, I wasn’t expecting much more.  As I said on my Twitter feed that night, the real star of the movie, as far as I’m concerned, is the city of Portland.  The producers did a great job of portraying the delightful oddity of that wonderful city.

There was one cool part in the movie.  The father had been in a band (I presume back in the 90s) that was named Nasty Bruises.

To me, that was the most creative part of the film, the name of his band.  I have absolutely no musical talent whatsoever, so I will never be in any kind of band.  I was once kicked out of a church choir and the only thing I can play is the iPod.  But if I ever had a band, naming it would be the most enjoyable part.  I’ve been working on a list for a few years.  Here are some of my hypothetical band names, in no particular order.

1.  Crusty Theologians

2.  The Downspouts

3.  Tolkien’s Revenge

4.  Banana Sandwich

5.  Nietzche Was Wrong

6.  Leather Bound Edition (LBE for short)

7.  Assimov

8.  Then There Was Light

9.  Broken Wheelbarrows

10. Gag Reflex


Every now and again a new one comes to me.  What would you name your hypothetical rock band?


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Come on, Hollywood!  I know you can do better than you’ve done lately.  So to help you out, I’ve got four sure-fire movie ideas for you, and none of them are set in the Marvel Universe.  You can thank me later.

1.  Jaws 5

They only made four Jaws movies.  Everyone knows that the first one, and the only one directed by Spielberg, was the best and probably one of the top 30 greatest movies of all time (anyone who says otherwise is chum) but the other three, not so much.  Jaws 2 was passable, but not the same.  Jaws 3 was possibly one of the worst movies ever (click her for an argument that Jaws 3 was a masterpiece) and Jaws 4 is ridiculous, but it does have Michael Caine.

Jaws 5So why do we need a fifth one, after 20 years of hiatus?  Because Sharknado and stupid SyFy movies have destroyed how great a shark movie can be.  It is time to reclaim it, and make a movie worthy of the first Jaws.  My suggestion is to pick up with the Brody granddaughter, Thea, and set her as a world-class marine biologist who is investigating exactly where all these over-sized sharks are coming from, and how are they able to remember to hate her family from one generation to the next.

2.  The Six Million Dollar Man

Rumors of a Bionic Man movie have been ongoing since the 90s, but most of these are from the comedy side of things.  What I mean is, they’ve talked about remaking it as a spoof like they did 21 Jump Street or Starsky & Hutch.  Boo that!  I want a real movie with drama, melodrama, and cool sound effects (visualize me now, sitting at my laptop, making that awesome sound.)

I loved that tv show in the 70’s.  Remember the one with Bigfoot?  You could even make it a Bionic Man and a Bionic Woman thing too.  This is a no-brainer and would be super easy to do.  My friend Chuck and I already have half a screen play written for this movie.  Okay, it’s really just notes written on a few pages of college rule notebook paper, but you get the point.  Call me Miramax.  Call me!

3.  Kim Possible

What’s the sitch?  Well, the sitch is that my family and I loved this cartoon and still, sometimes, late at night you can hear us mourn its loss.  It died far too young.  It was possibly the coolest cartoon ever.  Ever.  Just remember this, The Disney Channel killed Kim Possible so it could bring you more Hannah Montana, all day, every day.  Worst.  Decision.  Ever.


What I want to see, though, is a live-action Kim Possible.  I think maybe Ben Stiller should play Drakken.  Or maybe John Malkovich.  I want to play Ron.  I have to play Ron.

4.  The Little Girl Waits

Yeah, that is what you call a plug!  Seriously, several of the people who have read my novel believe it would make a great movie and I agree.  I mean, it has everything:  Car chases, shootouts, mystery, ghosts, indoor tornadoes, international gangsters, the FBI, and church drama!  I mean, come on, Hollywood, what are you waiting for.

The best part about making the movie of The Little Girl Waits is that I am pretty cheap.  I just want writer’s credit and to help with the screenplay so that I can accept the Oscar for best screenplay adapted from a previous work.  Is that too much to ask?  Of course, you’ll want to make sure and read the book (available at Amazon,, iTunes and many other outlets, paperback and eBook) before the movie comes out so you’ll know the stuff we changed.


Jaws 5 image

Kim Possible image from