This series takes place in a semi-post-Apocalyptic world covered in ash from a series of huge, but presently mostly dormant, volcanoes that cause frequent ash-falls. During the day, is lit by a red sun and at night, it is deluged by an omnipresent mist that seems at least semi-sentient, unable or unwilling to enter homes of the living and seemingly attracted to the presence of those who use Allomancy (the most prominently featured magic system), swirling around them whenever they venture out into it.
This crapsack world is ruled over completely by a mysterious, apparently immortal Lord Ruler, who could give Stalin, Pol Pot or Idi Amin a run for their money in the fascism department. The people are divided into two groups; the Nobility, and the Skaa, a working class that the Nobility literally believe are little more than semi-intelligent animals.
Nobility regularly kill skaa, and since skaa are not afforded basic human rights, they don't get in trouble for it. They also rape skaa women, and are supposed to murder them afterward so that they don't create any "half-breeds".
Here's the twist: among the Nobility there are some called "Mistborn", who are capable of practicing an arcane art known as "Allomancy", which is the practice of ingesting, then "burning" (which is to say, using) certain metals and their alloys, which give them various abilities. Iron allows you to push against other metals (any metal). Steel allows you to push against the same. Tin enhances your senses. Pewter enhances your physical body (strength, speed, endurance, balance, etc.). And so on and so forth. Basically, a full Mistborn, who can burn all these metals, is one major badass. Less badass but still powerful are "Mistings", who can burn one metal, but not all.
Did I say these people exist only among the nobility. Hah, well. They're supposed to, but considering how hard it is to make sure you never create a child with a skaa, the ability has spread.
Revolts have happened before, but they're increasingly uncommon, as the present generation of skaa literally believe that the Lord Ruler is God, or at least a god, and therefore not only is removing him impossible, but as a god, ruling is simply his right. But there's one man who wants to change all that, and truly end skaa oppression and the totality of the Lord Ruler's regime.
That's how our story begins, and I'm gonna stop there because I'm getting too bogged down in story. I will say, however, that I think these would make a good movie trilogy rather than television. The plot, while intricate, is quickly-moving and could easily fill a three-hour-ish running time (each book is about as long as one volume of The Lord of the Rings) and whoever directs this is gonna have to have a sharp eye for interesting visuals, like the Wachowskis, Zack Snyder or Tarsem Singh. It's important to get the right look of the setting, the red light, oppressive ashfalls, the mists, and above all, the fight scenes, which will, if done right, out-Matrix The Matrix.
Unlike several other books on this list, a film version of this book has already been optioned, and I sincerely hope this project moves forward. It's still in development hell right now. Maybe this cast list can get some studio bosses talking.
I initially considered waiting until I'd read all the books in this series and then casting the series as a whole, but it's becoming clear as I near the end of the second book that each movie deserves its own post. And, of course, THERE WILL BE SPOILERS AHEAD!
Now, on to the casting!
Our hero is a young skaa thief named Vin. Vin has grown up on the streets of the capital, Luthadel, moving among the thieving crews with the help of her brother, Reen. Now Reen has disappeared, and Vin has caught the eye of another thieving crew...a special one with a daring plan. What is special about Vin, and what will she learn about herself?
Vin is young, waif-like and riddled with self-doubt, even as she does what she must to survive, and only gradually begins morphing into a confident badass. Whoever plays her should have the ability to look both totally vulnerable and also hardened. I understand that Sanderson himself wanted Ellen Page in the role, but Page is a bit old for it at this point, and while she wouldn't suck, I want Chloe Grace Moretz. I mean, this kid has done it all. She knows how to do a fight scene (Kick-Ass). She can play someone who goes from wallflower to threatening, with arcane powers (Carrie), she's the right age, but always seems to be in roles typically given to older people. She can alter her voice (important as Vin begins to infiltrate Noble society). Personally, I can't see anyone else in the role at this point. Also, it doesn't matter if they don't start filming for a few years because she's very young-looking despite being Vin's age now and will still look the proper age in a few years. (Wow, this is the second time in four posts I've thought of Ellen Page and Chloe Grace Moretz for the same role).
|Chloe Grace Moretz|
Kelsier is described as being 38 years old with dark blonde hair and an outwardly flippant personality. However, he's also very dangerous, and many on his crew wonder if he hasn't started believing his own legend and started thinking that he can kill the Lord Ruler just because he's who he is. I think Jude Law could do this pretty well, especially because we know he can be serious (lots of his roles) but also jokey, smiley and flippant (AI: Artificial Intelligence, The Talented Mr. Ripley). He's older than 38, but looks somewhere around that age.
To start with, there's Kelsier's right-hand-man, Dockson, who is the only non-Allomancer within the central crew. Dockson is good with numbers, and acquiring things, and it's his administrative skill that gets Kelsier the materials and preparations he needs. Dockson himself is something of a straight man to Kelsier, but he's more than that, as well. He, like Kelsier, believes there's no good in the Nobility, and he has his own dark history to live with. He'd described as being shorter and somewhat older than Kelsier, stocky, with dark hair and a beard. This isn't a "normal" choice, but I pictured Paul Giamatti in this role. Something about how Dockson is a bit of a sad-sack may have brought me to this casting.
The first one I'm gonna talk about is a character who's not even a character in the books but a memory of one. Vin's older brother, Reen, looked out for her and kept her safe, but he also abused her and kept her always doubting, never trusting. Throughout the book, in Vin's insecure moments, Reen's voice echoes in her head. I think it could be visually demonstrated by having Reen appear to her as an apparition (well, physical manifestation of her inner thoughts) and taunt her. And for some reason, I see him being played by Bronson Webb.
On a final note, I should point out that many of the actors I chose are American, or Canadian. Basically, I made sure I chose actors who could at least affect a "British" accent, despite the fact that unlike a lot of fantasy, this isn't really a quintessentially British world. I kinda picture it that the higher up you are in the Nobility, the more "posh" your accent sounds, while most skaa speak with a generic sounding accent. I'm fairly certain that most of my choices are capable of that.