Monday, April 7, 2008

Discworld II: The Colour of Magic... a pre-emptive strike

Sky, those guys who barely anyone is actually able to watch, are making a follow-up to Hogfather. An adaptation of The Colour of Magic.

This in itself is nearly enough for me to say "Screw it all - THEY'RE COMPLETELY INSANE!" Because for the first episode, they decide to make the 20th 'event' novel in the series, with basically every character cameoing and the main plotline being shunted to the side, as a 'pilot' to the idea of Discworld TV movies. They then decide the second one should be the first novel, which starts with a completely blank slate, features just one character from Hogfather, introduces only two characters who re-occur in the series (Rincewind and Twoflower.. and they've announced they don't want to adapt any of their other ones anyway! Well, technically it has Death and The Patrician... but they're completely different from their later portrayals) and is set over twenty years earlier.

Okaay...

Even so, having thought that Hogfather, while not the masterpiece I was hoping for due to some abysmal bits of casting (The Archchancellor and Nobby. They need to die) was essentially a solid piece of entertainment for Discworld fans once you got past the clumsy opening and was indeed at masterpiece level at the end scenes which were entirely comprised of Ian Richardson giving us loads of Blake's 7-style dialogue. I was happy.

BUT... it wasn't THAT far from being terrible. So I was worrying about the casting to some degree, especially after being reminded of its existence (My brother's downloading it, you see... don't look at me like that, it will NEVER be in Australia) So I did what any nerd would do and checked out the Wikipedia article to the get the dirt on the casting.

Rincewind, of course, is the most iconic character in the Discworld fictional universe. An utterly loveable but completely pathetic and hapless 'wizzard', who doesn't actually have any magical ability at all and couldn't even hold down his job as Assisstant Librarian at Unseen University. It is important that he is represented as young, and charismatic, and utterly impossible to take seriously as a wizard.

Terry Pratchett says the best possible casting would be Nicholas Lyndhurst. Some random person on IMDb says David Tennant. I say Lee Ingleby. Fans of the computer games often freakishly insist on Eric Idle wearing that 'make you look younger' make-up that Patrick Stewart apparently had in the last X-Men film. Somebody else says Rhys Ifans. These are all good suggestions.

And the part goes to... WHAT?!?

SIR JASON DAVID?!

WHAT?!

Setting aside the fact that Jason David is some 30 years too old for the part, and completely the opposite in every imaginable way as to how Rincewind is meant to be played, I think it is very important to remember that he played a completely different character in the last film! DIDN'T YOU WORTHLESS BASTARDS NOTICE?

I hope the fuckers make Mort now, because Rincewind and Albert actually meet in that story. What you do then, fuckknuckles? Old-fashioned split-screen? You make me sick!


So, anyway, I've got that out of my system. Now to check the rest of the cast. The other main character is Twoflower, the stock Japanese tourist who's heart is in the right spot, so obviously they can't crowbar a big name into that role. Unless they got George Takei and-

WHAT?!?

SEAN ASTIN?!

This means Interesting Times will never be made into a film!! And that's probably the greatest of all the books! I HOPE YOU DIE!!!

Okay, I have been through IMDb and read a shitload of stuff about Twoflower never specifically being said to be Asian. Or, for that matter, anyone else in his country. The exact words of a heap of fucking tools, are that the Agatean Empire 'loosely resembles China'.

Hmm.

Let's see... there is a massive wall. There are fireworks and cannons for the purposes of launching fireworks. There is a terracotta army. There is a forbidden city. There are cuisines based on raw fish. There is ming blue-on-white artwork. There are tea ceremonies. Then we go to the Japanese stuff - there are tsumo. There is noh theatre. There are samurai. There are paper walls. There are ninjas. There are geisha. There are kimono.

Finally, the continent, due to the staggering amount of gold available... is nicknamed The Aurient.

I really want to know what you have to do to more than 'loosely resemble' Asia.

And anyway... if Twoflower is American then what's the deal with his name? Jesus Christ, man, the whole idea of his name is that it is a loose parody of the stereotypical Oriental poetic names, with everyone in The Agatean Empire being similarly named - Four Yoked Oxen is the one that sticks in my mind.

But anyway, the irritating vassals of fandom who explain any rape to an adapted work away with the utmost callousness have been at work and this is apparenly completely logical casting. Even though the fact that Mr Teatime had a slight but noticeable Brooklyn accent in Hogfather tells us that an American isn't particularly foreign in Ahnk-Morpork, which sort of is the entire reason for the character's frigging entire existence in the context of the story.

I hate all of humanity right now.

What else is there to offend me in this cast list, let's see... ah! You remember Nicholas Tennant, presumably David's loser brother, the bloke who was a full foot too tall, far too good looking and also nowhere near funny or talented enough to play the part of Corporal Nobbs but somehow got cast anyway? No, I have not hunted him down and bathed in his worthless blood yet. He is back, and he's playing the "Head Librarian". I guess that'd be the one that turns into an orangutan shortly after appearing so we won't be afflicted with his presence for long, it would seem HOWEVER - another actor from Hogfather returning in an entirely unrelated role for absolutely no reason. (I think there are more than a couple of actors in the UK...) Why not give us a third one while you're at it?

... Nigel Planer as The Arch-Astronomer.

*SIGH*

Of course, that could be a hoax given that it's listed on Wikipedia but not on IMDb.... but then the question of which of the sites is more likely to have a hoax is a very tricky one...

The one good piece of news is the fact that Christopher Lee will be playing death. Slightly curious in that he has played the role twice prior to Hogfather (and was going to reprise it a third time for Reaper Man, some evidence of which exists on YouTube) but got passed over in favour of Ian Richardson for that. Who died very soon afterwards. Now, obviously I'm not saying that Lee hunted him down and murdered him in cold blood with the aid of his SAS training... I'm just saying that we should consider the theory...

Ooh, they've already decided what the next one to film will be! No, not one of the popular ones - Going Postal. The one that's exactly the same as The Truth but with 'post office' replacing 'newspaper' at the relevant points. What I find notable about this is the fact that all of the Sky One shows that serve as adaptations are branded with the author's name in the title, and this in turn leads to a humourous effect therein once referenced by Lawrence Miles... in this case Terry Pratchett's Going Postal. So DUCK!

3 comments:

Youth of Australia said...

Just wondering, is "Jason David" supposed to be "David Jason"? I mean, there's probably someone called J David, so maybe DJ is still playing... shit my memory, Death's moral support. Him.

Just an idea.

Gormenghast this isn't...

Jared "No Nickname" Hansen said...

Aw, fuck, I can't believe I wrote that. My sickness is leading me to make stupid mistakes like that and I've been noticing it constantly.

Yes it is David Jason. I'll edit it later, along with that bit in my Torchwood thing where I describe Martha Jones as "a visiting dignitary visitor who is just visiting. For a visit. Visit."

Youth of Australia said...

I wasn't sure if it were a joke.

The actual thrust of the argument was perfectly clear, though.