Neil Gaiman hasn’t come out with any new books in while since The Graveyard Book nearly two years ago–so how ’bout we pass the time with another movie? After the wonderful adaptation of Stardust, the next novel that I would love to see as a film is Neverwhere, Gaiman’s first novel and one of his best. Neverwhere follows Londoner Richard Mayhew, just another Joe schmo until he rescues a mysterious girl named Door. After meeting Door, Mayhew finds himself starting to disappear, and is drawn into the dark and dangerous world of London Below. If you want to know the full story, you have to read the book–it’s that good!
You can’t have a movie without a cast (even an imaginary one), so here are my top picks for the leading roles for Neverwhere.
Zac Levi as Richard Mayhew
While Levi will always be the adorable geek Chuck on the small screen, he deserves leading role as Richard Mayhew. In Neverwhere, Mayhew is always good-intentioned but rather clueless; it’s his coming-of-senses story, as opposed to coming of age. That fits perfectly with the “Chuck” personality that Levi portrays so well, but Neverwhere is definitely darker, weirder, and much more dramatic. I think Levi is ready for a leading movie role that will take a lot of effort and performance, and most importantly, it doesn’t have to do with chipmunks.
Dakota Blue Richards as Door
You might know Dakota Richards (not Fanning!) from her leading role as Lyra in Golden Compass. While Compass itself was pretty bad, Richards impressed me with her ability to capture Lyra’s charm and mischievousness. Her talent and almost ethereal quality would translate very well as Door, the young girl whom Mayhew rescues. Door has the ability to unlock (what do you think?) doors and passageways, and seeks to avenge her murdered family. Even though Richards is still pretty young and relatively new to showbiz, she and Levi could work really well together.
Morgan Freeman as the marquis de Carabas
The marquis de Carabas is the mysterious and often wisecracking figure of the novel, and as soon as he was introduced in the novel I immediately saw Freeman’s face in my mind. Freeman has that ability to look ominous and enigmatic, and yet have that twinkle in his eye that says, I might actually be kidding. It seems that Freeman has portrayed just about everyone, from Batman’s Lucius Fox to Nelson Mandela to God, and he could add the marquis de Carabas to his long line of excellent performances.
Rosario Dawson as Hunter
There are probably other women who could fill this role (NOT Megan Fox), and at first I thought Angelina Jolie was the best part for the role. After some thought and looking at some other sites, I now think that Dawson would be the top pick. Hunter is a badass warrior fixated on one goal: defeating the beast that resides in the tunnels of London Below. Hunter joins Mayhew and Door as their protector, often providing belittling comments to Mayhew. Dawson showed some of her warrior side in her voice acting performance in Wonder Woman, and I think she would be perfect as Hunter in Neverwhere.
Liev Schrieber as Mr. Croup
Okay, so maybe this is more “fan” than “cast,” but after seeing Schrieber in Defiance and Wolverine: Origins, I am convinced that he could totally pull off the role as Mr. Croup, one of the minor villains. Croup is described as a “wolf”; he seldom speaks and prefers to hit things, and he is definitely the more threatening of the two. While they’ve never done a movie before (to my knowledge), Schreiber and Hugh Laurie (below) could be hilarious and almost terrifying working together as the main henchmen.
Hugh Laurie as Mr. Vandemar
Mr. Vandemar is the fox to Croup’s wolf. He’s slick and eloquent, adding in as many SAT words as possible to his speech. This role took some deliberation; anyone could be greasy if they tried, but who can pull it off without trying too hard? And then I found the answer: Hugh Laurie (with his British accent, o’ course) would fit the role perfectly; Vandemar is much like our favorite sarcastic diagnostician on House, except…well, more evil. If Laurie grew out his hair and added a menacing look to his eyes and demeanor, he could become someone we love to hate in no time at all.
Neil Patrick Harris as the Angel Islington
Alright, so I know this is a stretch, but hear me out. The Angel Islington was kicked out of heaven and exiled to London Below (you’ll find out why in the book), and he becomes the major villain in the story. Islington is cold, manipulative and–as the marquis says–if an angel goes bad, he goes real rotten. Now, whenever I see Harris on Dr Horrible, How I Met Your Mother and more recently Glee, I just burst out laughing, but I know that he could fulfill this role. Harris could be dark if he wanted to…right?