Our Dream Cast of the “Dark Tower” Movie, Pt. 2

Welcome back. I hope you enjoyed the first installment of this dream cast and are super excited to see the rest of it. Prepare for greatness! (But, you know, expect mediocrity!)

The Baddies/Semi-Baddies
in no particular order

Henry Dean
As mentioned in our last post, Henry is Eddie’s older brother. He’s not necessarily a bad guy because he’s not an outright villain, but he’s not really a good guy either. He resents Eddie because, when they were younger, their sister was killed in a car accident, and ever since, their mother was all over him to make sure the same didn’t happen to Eddie. But Henry was also just a bully in general. He is jealous of Eddie because of his talent (Eddie is a great woodcarver, which comes in handy), the ramifications of which still resonate with Eddie even after Henry’s death. The oldest Dean, however, also has massive respect for his little brother; without being able to pinpoint it, he sees the gunslinger in Eddie and says that he is the only one he would want backing him in a fight (play the pronoun game with that one!). He dies from a forced heroin overdose during an altercation between Eddie and a mobster.
Nikkie’s Picks: Michael Raymond James or Rider Strong
michael-raymond--james rider strong
I think either of these gentlemen could accurately portray semi-baddie Henry Dean. The most prominent roles for them in my mind (Neal from Once Upon a Time for Michael; Shawn Hunter from Boy Meets World for Rider, obvi) easily lend themselves to being a drugged-out, semi-abusive brother. And I mean that as a compliment! I would probably lean more toward Rider in terms of preference, but based on my pick for Eddie, Michael might make more sense visually.
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Super Hubs’s Pick: Jared Leto
Okay so…not gonna lie. I mostly picked Jay Lo here because he looks like he could be related to Danny Rad C. BUT Jred-Lto is also good at playing a tweaked-out druggy. I feel like he could really pull off the occasional intensity of Henry while also playing a character with wild fluctuations in emotion and temperament. Much as I hate the look of the Joker in Suicide Squad, it’s clear from all the previews that j’RD is giving the part his all and really embodying an aura of the unhinged.
Plus he’s dreeeeeeeeamy.

Elmer Chambers
This is Jake’s father, and he is a real piece of work. He’s an executive at a television network, and he acts like it. He’s got the tiniest bit of a drug problem (cocaine, obvi), but he is very proud of the fact that he’s not an addict. He’s not that nice to Jake and is constantly putting pressure on him to be better. The only useful thing about him is that he owns a gun that Jake can steal and sling with. Well, that and giving Jake life.
Nikkie’s Pick: Edward Norton
Come on. How could I not pick Edward Norton? He just looks like someone’s shitty, power-hungry dad. I also feel like I could see some resemblance between him and Tom Taylor (the kid playing Jake). So this just feels right to me.
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SH’s Pick: Robert Downey, Jr.
robert downey jr
So Ed Norton is a good choice for sure, but when I imagine Jake’s relationship with his dad, I can’t help but think of the interactions between Tony Stark and that kid in Iron Man 3. It would be like that, except Jake’s dad would be more of an asshole, and there would never be an emotional payoff that shows he really is a good person after all. RDJ is really good at playing self-important assholes.

Stuttering Bill the Robot
This is a character who shows up in Wolves of the Calla. He is a robot, as his name might suggest, and he is a helper-bot. However, he also ends up being in cahoots with the Crimson King (or at least his cronies) when it comes to orchestrating a horrible event where children are kidnapped from Calla Bryn Sturgis and returned . . . broken.
Our Pick: Bill Hader
Duh! How could we pick anyone other than Bill Hader? He’s got a great robot voice, he can do other voices if they decided to go non-mechanic, and he’s absolutely hilarious. He can be sinister if he needs to be, he can be light, and he’s always great. He is the only proper choice, and if anyone else is voicing the character if he shows up at any point, we will be distraught.

Rhea of the Cöos
Rhea is a witch who lives outside of Hambry in Wizard and Glass. She is (shudder) the virginity checker when marriage/mistress pacts are being made, and she is super old. The in-town baddies have tasked her with guarding one of Merlin’s orbs, but she becomes obsessed with it. She hypnotizes Susan so that the girl will cut off all her hair when she loses her virginity (for no reason other than Rhea is mean), and she is a big part in Susan’s death. She’s centuries old (at least) and is so, so creepy.
Our Pick: Tilda Swinton
Tilda Swinton
Another big fat duh. This one is kind of a stretch in terms of what Rhea looks like because Tilda can *work* it (insert finger snaps), but the magic of Hollywood makeup departments could fix that if they really wanted to adhere to Rhea’s creepy, disgusting exterior. Tilda is such a great actress, and she has so much range. But she also has a penchant (at least to my memory) of being in fantasy-esque movies, so come on! It’s perfect.

Gabrielle Deschain
This is Roland’s mom. She is not a bad mom. But she is on the baddie list because she was having an affair with Marten/Walter/Randall, and that is not cool, lady. However, she IS seduced by Marten, and when he tries to coerce into an assassination attempt of her husband/Roland’s dad, she doesn’t go through with it. So, really, Gabrielle is more of a neutral-baddie than a semi- or full baddie. But it wouldn’t have made sense to include on the good guys list because she really doesn’t do anything that affects the story positively. In a rough twist, Roland ends up killing her because the Merlin orb (the same one Rhea had) tricks him into seeing Rhea in his mom’s place.
Nikkie’s Pick: Viola Davis
viola davis
First off: Viola is QUEEN in this photo, amirite?! And considering Gabrielle is basically the queen of Gilead, that makes perfect sense. Second, she is probably the obvious choice because of her HTGAWM hotness right now. But I don’t care. I like her, and I think she is a great choice for the not-100-percent-good, not-100-percent-bad character that is Gabrielle. Her character on HTGAWM is so nuanced and flawed, it just lends itself to the very flawed nature of Gabrielle. It would be a slam dunk.
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SH’s Pick: Marion Cotillard
Look, I know Idris Elba is dark, but nobody said both his parents have to be black! Viola Davis would be a good choice if Gabrielle Deschain was a powerful-yet-flawed Head Bitch in Charge type. But she’s not. Gabrielle Deschain is broken. She has been seduced by a wizard, her mind tinkered with, forced to watch her family fall apart without being able to do a thing to stop it. Her sadness is not beneath the surface, it’s very much on the surface. Her every movement, her every word needs to drip with melancholy and regret. Marion Cotillard can pull this off. Just look at the picture above, even when she’s smiling she’s basically frowning.
Plus she’s dreeeeeeamy.

Jack Mort
This guy is the worst. Not only is he the guy responsible for both Susannah’s split personality AND her leglessness, but he is also the man who pushed Jake in front of a car, killing him and sending him to Mid-World. What do you call someone who is a serial harm-causer? Outside of his psychopathic tendencies, he is an accountant.
Nikkie’s Pick: Dean Winters
dean winters
Dennis from 30 Rock. The Vulture from Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Chaos in those insurance commercials. Dean Winters is perfect for playing a douchebag, and who is a bigger douchebag than a man who harms children and pushes a woman in front of a subway train? I see this so vividly in my mind that I just can’t handle it. I already want to yell at him for sucking so hard.
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SH’s Pick: Mads Mikkelsen
mads nicholson
He’s practically built his career playing horrifying villains. He’s frightening. Stare into his eyes and tell me he wouldn’t push you in front of a train!

Blaine the Monorail
So Blaine is a train who brings the pain and makes Jake think he’s gone insane. (If you read the books, then you’re welcome for my being so hilarious and amazing.) Anyway. Blaine is indeed a train, and he’s a huge asshole. The ka-tet must board him to get to bizarro Topeka, but he plans on killing them all (including himself). There is an epic riddle-off (even though we don’t get to see the whole thing, which is disappointing), and Eddie literally annoys Blaine to death in order to keep the inevitable crash from killing them. Blaine seems to have a dormant personality of a child that shows up every now and again to help the gunslingers, but he’s basically just a crazy AI program.
Our Pick: Mark Hamill (voice only)
Luke Skywalker to the rescue. He’s an accomplished voice actor who has played the villain before (SH Note: she means he’s played THE Villain before, i.e. The Joker), so this would not require a stretch of the imagination on the viewers’ part. Plus, if you’re not familiar with his voice work, then you would only be surprised after the fact (as I, Nikkie, was when I found out he voices Skips on Regular Show).
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An Alternative Take from SH:
Blaine likes to play games, to mess with the minds of his hapless victims. Having him as just a voice works very well in the books, but I think in the movie we’ll need a visual aspect to the character—a simple hologram as a visual guide for the passengers. But I think Blaine wouldn’t keep it simple. Blaine would use a voice that wouldn’t match the image. Something like Elle Fanning with Mark Hamill’s voice. And I think he would switch the hologram around, jumping from celebrities that Eddie would know to people from Roland’s past. What better way to get under someone’s skin than to mock them with what they’ve lost?

While drawing Jake into Mid-World during The Waste Lands, Susannah must keep an incubus occupied (i.e. have sex with it) so that it doesn’t go after anyone else in the group. During Wolves of Calla, it is discovered that, despite showing no physical signs, she has been impregnated. The child is kin to the Crimson King, and the spirit of a female succubus inhabits Susannah’s body to bring the child to term. It’s kind of complicated to just explain in greater detail without taking up a lot of your time, so go look it up! All you need to know for this is that Mia is white, she is baby-crazy, and she absconds with Susannah’s body for a whole book.
Nikkie’s Picks: Mila Kunis or Brie Larson
Pregnant-Mila-Kunis brie larson
I love Mila Kunis. She’s funny and sexy and a bit of a badass. She has very intense eyes, and I won’t lie to you when I say that that’s half the reason I think she could be Mia. As for Miss Larson, her star is certainly on the rise in the drama department; playing a desperate creature such as Mia would be a cinch for her.
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SH’s Pick: Amanda Seyfried
amanda seyfried
Not gonna lie, I just want an excuse to stare at Amanda Seyfried. She’s a great actress and would pull the part off with no difficulty, of that I’m sure. But mostly I just want her to be in more movies cus I love her.

The Crimson King
Despite how often Walter/Randall/Etc. shows up in the series and other King books, the Crimson King is the overarching bad guy. He’s actively trying to destroy the Tower and all the worlds that reside in it (which is all of them). Ironically, he’s trapped on a balcony of the Tower, so all his machinations are carried out by cronies, a lot of whom are the big baddies in this series. When he is finally shown, he’s kind of just a crazy old coot who really hates Roland.
Our Pick: Terence Stamp
Is there really anyone else we could have picked? He plays such a great bad guy, and even though he’d only be appearing at the very end, unable to leave a small architectural feature, it would be worth it to have Stamp embody ol’ CK.

Mordred Deschain
Are you ready to have your mind blown (those of you who haven’t read the books)? That baby that Susannah/Mia is carrying, the son of the Crimson King? He’s actually biologically Roland’s kid! Back in The Gunslinger, Roland has sex with a succubus, and it turns out that succubus is Mia. She collected his … baby-making materials and becomes an incubus in The Waste Lands to then transfer the materials to Susannah, thus creating Mordred. But if you think a regular baby came out, non-readers, you are horribly mistaken. The Crimson King’s sigil of sorts is a spider, so Mordred comes out all half-spider (and eats Mia). After he feeds, he can assume a fully human shape, but depending on how much he ate, it can drain his energy very easily. When he’s a spider, he’s got a little human head attached near the top of the thorax (aka spider butt). It’s terrifying just to think of, so I can only imagine how it would look when brought to the silver screen. Mordred’s mission is to serve his Red Father by killing his White Father (Roland, and no, White doesn’t refer to the fact that he’s a white man), and thankfully, he fails, but not before RUINING OUR LIVES by dispatching of a beloved character.
Our Pick: Khylin Rhambo
khylin rhambo
This is another actor who we don’t really know from anything, so we are casting solely on the fact that he is a lighter-skinned black kid. Apparently he’s in Teen Wolf? I feel like that could translate to playing a half-spider, half-human demon thing… Unless his character is a regular person. Either way, he’d be used to being in a supernatural kind of environment, though, so it could work. Obviously he would be playing Mordred once he grew up (which happens at an extremely rapid pace in the books, but I assume they’d speed up even more in the movies).

Remember ol’ Patrick Danville? When he is brought into the story, it is as the captive of Dandelo, a creature that feeds on emotions (kind of like It from IT). Dandelo knew of Patrick’s abilities because all of the erasers on Patrick’s pencils had been removed. Calling itself Joe Collins in the presence of Susannah and Roland, Dandelo adopts the guise of a former stand-up comedian and nearly kills them by feeding on their manic laughter.
Our Pick: Sarah Silverman
Considering we already gender-bent Danville, why not gender-bend his/her captor as well? Besides, this makes it more interesting/less misogynistic (Susannah is the one who dispatches Dandelo, so ladies saving ladies from demon ladies). Anyway. We’re big fans of Sarah Silverman, and being an ACTUAL comedienne, she barely even has to act! She just has to get all demon-y for the last minute or so.

Andrew Quick
In The Waste Lands, the ka-tet must get through a town called Lud to find Blaine. While attempting to cross a broken bridge into the city, Jake is captured by a man named Gasher and taken to Andrew Quick, the leader of the Grays, one of the two groups in Lud who are at war. Quick, also known as the Tick-Tock Man because of his clock and clockwork obsession, is the descendant of David Quick, an outlaw prince who also tried to take over Lud. Jake escapes with the help of Roland and Oy, the little raccoon-esque creature that Jake adopts as a pet, and shoots Quick in the head in the process. However, the bullet ricochets off Quick’s skull, and Walter appears to save his life. Quick reappears (and is killed) in Wizard and Glass.
Our Pick: Joe Manganiello
David Quick was a very large man, and we can’t really remember if Andrew shares that quality, but for this dream-cast, he does. So with that in mind, we pick Joe ManJello (which is what we call him because we can never remember his last name or how to pronounce it). There is not really any nuance to Quick’s character, so it doesn’t require an A+ actor to pull it off. No offense, ManJello, but as with most of your roles, you’re just here to be a body that ladies can go all tingly over. Sorry! (Console yourself with your marriage to Sophia Vergara; that should help.)

The Big Coffin Hunters
These are the baddies who Roland, Cuthbert, and Alain fight in Hambry during Wizard and Glass. There are three: Eldred, who is the oldest and the leader, and his flunkies Clay and Roy. He’s a crotchety bastard with a limp who was actually trained to become a gunslinger (he was friends with Cort). But he stepped on a shard of a mirror created by Maerlyn (Walter/Randall’s papa), which distorted the goodness within him and made him a huge jerk. He loses his test of manhood, thus failing the chance to become a gunslinger, and that is where his limp comes from (his leg was shattered). Later in life, he recruits Clay and Roy and they become guns for hire that align themselves with the man trying to take over Gilead. There is not much to say about Clay and Roy. Clay is a womanizer, and Roy is spiteful dummy.
Our Picks: David Bradley as Eldred; Sebastian Stan and Oscar Isaac as Clay/Roy interchangibly
david bradley sebastian stan oscar isaac
Yes, another GOT cast member makes an appearance; Bradley plays slippery ol’ Walder Frey (he also played Filch in the Harry Potter movies), and he’s the perfect choice for Eldred. We really can’t designate who Stan and Isaac should play of the two remaining Coffin Hunters. It would be easy to cast Stan as Roy because Roy is the youngest, but he has the look of a womanizer a la Clay, and it’s not hard to envision Isaac playing someone spiteful (just look at that photo!). So we shall leave the deciding up to you. There’s merit to both being either.

Cordelia Delgado
This is Susan’s crappy aunt. She is implicated in the murder of Susan’s dad (her own brother), and she hates Susan for being young and pretty. She slowly becomes more and more paranoid over the course of Wizard and Glass when it comes to her niece’s virginity status, so it’s not hard for her to fall to Rhea’s whims and decide to get rid of Susan once and for all.
Our Pick: Helena Bonham Carter
Does anyone do crazy aunt better than HBC? The answer is no. What’s great about this is that it wouldn’t be HBC’s customary crazy either. On the outside, Cordelia is a very proper and put-together woman. She is all about appearance and saving face; that’s half the reason she goes so insane over the prospect of Susan ruining the contract with the mayor. Watching HBC weave her signature insanity into a proper lady would be awesome for sure.

So there you have it! The second half of our dream-cast is complete. As mentioned in the first post, we know that the movie (and any subsequent one) won’t be a direct adaptation of the books, so it’s likely that few of the characters we’ve brought up will even appear in the movies. Regardlss, it was crazy-fun thinking about it, and we hope you enjoyed our ramblings. Sound off in the comments with agreements or other suggestions!

We’ll be back soon with talk of actual books, probably . . . *shrug* You’ll find out.

May your TBR piles tower but never topple,
Nikkie and Super Hubs

Our Dream Cast for the “Dark Tower” Movie, Pt. 1

‘Sup nerds?

If you’re a fan of Stephen King and movies, then you’re probably aware that King’s Dark Tower series is being turned into a movie starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey. As you can imagine, Super Hubs and I are pretty pumped about this. As the few known casting details were released, we immediately began imagining characters that might appear in the film and who could portray them. Even though King has stated that the movie is not a straight adaptation of his books (who is Tirana, and how she is a female lead?), we tried to think of every major (or major-minor) character that shows up in the series and the actors or actresses worthy enough to bring them to life. There are some characters we couldn’t come to a consensus about, so when it comes to them, there will be multiple choices with SH and I defending our individual picks.

Anyway. This post was going to be hella long because there are a LOT of characters, and a lot of actors/actresses to consider, so we’re splitting it up into two. This is part one of our dream cast.

 The Good(ish) Guys/Gals
(in no particular order)

Eddie Dean
Eddie is a twentysomething drug addict in 1980s New York. He has an older brother, Henry, whom he simultaneously worships, hates, and fears. Henry is the one who introduces Eddie to drugs, and the two get lost in that world. Though Henry winds up lost forever (and also murdered), Eddie is saved by Roland and becomes the strongest out of the ka-tet that Roland collects. Mr. Dean is stronger than he knows and a smart-ass to boot, which actually comes in handy quite a bit. He sees Roland as a father, even though he often hates him for his stoicism, and he considers his ka-mates to be his true family.
Nikkie’s Pick: Michael Mosley
michael mosley

I know Michael as 3XK, a seriously scary serial killer from ABC’s Castle (RIP) that appears in three separate seasons. I also know him as Johnny from FX’s Sirens (also RIP), a cocky EMT with abandonment issues. Though he’s got quite a few years on Eddie, I think he’s perfect for this role because he has the chops to pull off the range we see with this character—going from layabout drug addict to withdrawing to man on a mission to man in love, all while maintaining the smart-ass quality that truly defines him, is no easy feat. I think Mosley is the man to bring Eddie to life. Just age him up a little, and we’re good to go.

Continue reading “Our Dream Cast for the “Dark Tower” Movie, Pt. 1″

Undertale Pt. 2: A Few Monsters More

Welcome back! Fair warning, this post is going to be very long. We’re gonna focus entirely on the characters today and there are A LOT of them. This whole Undertale thing might wind up taking 10 posts cus I love this damn game. And if that happens, well, I hope you’re looking forward to reading about Undertale for the next three years cus you know how bad I am about posting!

There’s a lot of heart in Undertale. Every character has a unique personality, even the most inconsequential NPC leaves an impression. Whether they’re giving you not-so-useful information or they simply want you to remember their name, every character helps build the world just a little more. So whaddya say we talk about ’em?

Pro-tip: This list will only talk about the boss characters, and it will go in a pretty non-specific order.


The Last Child: Our Main Character

Pictured here with a hot dog on their head, our silent protagonist is (quite literally) the heart and soul of the game. Cus…in the battle screen, you control a heart…that represents your soul. It makes sense if you’ve played that game, I swear! I call them “The Last Child” because, as is to be expected from an RPG, you can pick your own name at the beginning of the game. The name itself is an interesting dynamic, actually. If you choose certain names, the game will comment on them, and as you play through the game, you will be given hints about your name that all come to a head in the climax. But we’ll get to that later.

The Last Child is ambiguously sexed, but I prefer to think of her as a girl. It doesn’t matter to the story; it’s just how I think, so leave me alone about it!

There’s honestly not too much to say about The Last Child, being a silent protagonist and all. There is however a twist to her actions, one that is driven by the meta nature of the story. But again, we’ll get to that later. I love the design, the squinty eyes, and expressionless face are a constant source of comedy among all the silliness that happens around you. Continue reading “Undertale Pt. 2: A Few Monsters More”

Undertale Pt. 1: A Cave Full of Monsters

SHUT UP! This post is from the old blog and dammit I make myself laugh too much to delete the beginning. So use your damn imagination.

Everybody hush! This post is a secret. A secret secret. A valentine’s secret. That I’m posting on President’s Day; cus if there’s one thing I know, it’s how to take too long to write something.

Remember me!? I’m the husband. I used to write things on here. I still plan on writing things on here but I never get around to it cus I’M THE WORST! I’ll catch up eventually. Maybe. Probably not. But I will write things on here again. Seeing my wife’s work fills me with DETERMINATION.

And so, for my first post in literally three years (ed note: may not be literal) I’m going to post about….a vidja game! Because that’s what you do on a literary blog right? Ehehehe FUCK YOU! Video games have stories too and sometimes those stories are even good. There’s one such game, a little gem you may have heard of if you spend absolutely any time on the internet; a game called . . .


UNDERTALE is a retro-themed rpg. It has all the familiar tropes: Monsters, Shops, Random Battles, EXP, NPCs! Everything you’ve ever loved about RPGs (if you’re into that sort of thing). UNDERTALE takes all of these thing and – forgive the overused verb – subverts the hell out of them. UNDERTALE is definitely not what you expect on first glance. Continue reading “Undertale Pt. 1: A Cave Full of Monsters”

Welcome to the New Blog Order!

Hello everyone.

I know what you’re thinking: “Where did everything go?! What happened to Lit’s Not Dead, and what is Married with Bookshelves?!”

Well, friends, what happened is that I, your dear Nikkie, had been feeling for quite some time that this blog has not been living up my expectations for it. Browsing through the first few years of this blog, it was easy to see that there was no real direction, no rhyme or reason, to the way I was posting. And that’s not the impression I want to leave behind.

When I started this blog several years ago, it was because I wanted a space to talk about books. The idea really came to me when I was sitting through an American Fiction class during my undergrad and getting frustrated by the perpetuation of the “literary canon.” If you don’t know what that is, it simply means that in order to be taken seriously as a reader, there is an unofficially official list of novels that you have to have under your belt. This list is primarily made up of “literary” books that are centuries old, and while there is nothing wrong with liking literature and old books, I could not support the idea that the kind of books I enjoy reading are somehow “lesser than” the books of the canon. I like what I like, other people can like what they like; let’s just all try to get along!

So that was the catalyst of starting the blog, and I adopted the name “Lit’s Not Dead” because I wanted people to understand that great books didn’t die with all the old writers.

However, as I became more acquainted with other blogs and the joys of theorizing, I realized that I wanted to talk about more than just books. (The fact that Game of Thrones exists is just one example of my need to branch out in my blogging material.) But with the blog named as it was, and the previous posts looking the way they did, I felt so uncomfortable adding to what felt like a pre-established sloppiness that I didn’t do anything about my new desires.
Continue reading “Welcome to the New Blog Order!”