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Old January 19 2009, 09:18 AM   #1
perrym
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HERO author needs Trek fans help casting gay hero

Hi, everyone,

I'm very honored to be a new part of this group; I've learned so much already. Since so many of you have such a vast range of pertinent knowledge, I wanted to post and ask for your help re: casting ideas for the new sci fi show Stan Lee and I are developing for Showtime, and based on my novel HERO.

Many of you may not have read it, because it is marketed as a young adult novel, but I suspect there will be no dearth of opinions.

I read in another post that there were very many gay fans among this site.
Wow, I had no idea there were proportionally more gay fans on this site than on others. I wonder why. I find that very interesting.

I've already received some great ideas, but would be truly grateful for your valued opinions. Please keep in mind, despite some of the sensationalized press announcements, HERO's protagonist is not defined by his sexuality. It is a part of him, one that he wrestles with, but hardly his only defining trait or challenge. Believe me, if you read the book, you'll see just how much young Thom Creed is up against. Especially when it comes to his father, the disgraced, former hero Hal Creed. (I'm dying to hear your casting suggestions for the father in particular. He's a great character, and I based him on my own father, a Vietnam Vet, who like myself, longed to find his place in the universe.)

For those of you who haven't read HERO, I'll give you a very brief rundown of character descriptions for casting ideas. So far, you're hitting the nail on the head!

1. Thom -- the protagonist -- a young man, a high school basketball star with the weight of the world on his shoulders. He has two secrets to hide from his father: 1. he's developing superpowers, and therefore is invited to tryout for the very team (The League, that kicked his father, a formerly glorious hero, of the their ranks years ago, and 2. he's discovering his sexual feelings may be for men, and not for women.

2. Hal Creed -- Thom's father. A weathered, fallen from grace superhero, who now toils as a menial factory worker. Considered the world's greatest pariah because of an event where the collateral damage killed thousands of innocent men and women. He wants to do right by his son. Tough on the outside. There is a warmth on the inside.

Thom's Probationary Team:
Scarlett--the hottest young woman on the team...grew up on a trailer. Can control fire, but not her temper. Gained her powers from growing up next to a nuclear power plant, which is literally rotting her insides, and hides from the team that she requires chemo treatments to deal with it.
RUTH-a tough as nails old woman -- remember Ruth Gordon, or Gena Rowlands in Gloria? Can see glimpses of the future. Becomes Thom's most unlikely ally. Has the sharpest tongue of the group.
Typhoid Larry -- a real fan-favorite. Wants so much to be the bad-ass-get-the-girl-hero, but his powers --he makes anyone sick with an array of illnesses with the smallest touch -- keep people away from him.
And Golden Boy -- super-speedster sidekick to the Flash-like "Silver Bullet" on the League. Demoted to lead this bunch of neophytes and he takes it all out on Thom. Good looking, an ethnic question mark. We find out he grew up in an orphanage and no one would take him, because the blacks thought he was Puerto Rican, the Puerto Ricans thought he was Middle Eastern, and so on and so forth. Has a major chip on his shoulder, always has to be the best.

The League: Uberman--perfectly handsome heavy hitter, and the secret object of Thom's desire, Warrior Woman, and Justice, the all-knowing leader of the League, whom Thom discovers used to be Thom's father's sidekicks years ago.

C-list Villains: Transvision Vamp, Sig-Sig Sputnik, Snaggletooth (Wolverine if he weren't immune due to his popularity, and equally one-note), and the Ssnake.

Dark Hero -- a mysterious vigilante who always seems to follow Thom. At certain points throughout the novel you wonder if it's Thom's father, dressed up to check up on his son. Maybe his long lost mother, returned, to make sure her son is safe, as he gets in over his head. Or is it...

Goran -- Thom's biggest adversary on the basketball court. Someone he can't get out of his mind.

Thom's mother, Lila Creed -- we learn, not only left the Creed family years ago -- she disappeared -- she was the League's Invisible Woman.

So that about does it.

Hope you check out the book. I tried to run away from the cliche. Especially by presenting an enthralling story about a hero's coming of age story, and his being gay is just a part of it, not the whole of it, not his entire defining trait. I look at movies like Brokeback Mountain and Milk, and I don't criticize movies I had no part in making--at the same time, I wanted to do something totally innovative -- create a story about a character who happens to be gay who is not there for comic relief, who is not there to get beaten up, but who is there to be the star of his own story, and he happens to be gay, and he earns his way to becoming a HERO. Unlike the two popular gay-character movies I mentioned, HERO does not end in the death and tragedy of the main character.

Believe it or not, for now, that's an awfully subversive premise. I'd like to think Gene Rodenberry would be proud of me. Because he did something so similar so long ago. And now multicultural casts are a given to young people.

But stories that feature characters who happen to be gay whose stories don't end in abject tragedy and death -- well, that's pretty darn subversive right now. And I'm looking forward to a day when it isn't. Because the story will still stand on its own two feet as a great coming of age superhero story.

And with your help, we'll put together the best cast on TV!

Thank you for helping me! I can't think of a better group to ask! (Please let me know how to get more folks on the site in on the discussion, if possible-you all are so much better than so many other forums I've tried to join! This one is fantastic! I'm very honored to be a part of it!)

All the best,
Perry Moore,
Author of HERO
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Old January 19 2009, 01:14 PM   #2
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Re: HERO author needs Trek fans help casting gay hero

Welcome to the board, perrym. I'm moving this thread over to Science Fiction & Fantasy since it is more appropriate for that forum than Misellaneous.
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Old January 19 2009, 01:28 PM   #3
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Re: HERO author needs Trek fans help casting gay hero

I don't know whether this site has proportionately more gay fans than others, but Outpost Gallifrey - http://www.doctorwhoforum.com - certainly does, as Dr Who fandom seems to have always been more, well, gay, than other fandoms since the dawn of time...

As for the casting - Sean Bean for Hal would be good...
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Old January 19 2009, 03:58 PM   #4
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Re: HERO author needs Trek fans help casting gay hero

Here are a few suggestions ..

Thom - either Ryan Sampson or Christian "hottest man on the planet" Cooke

Hal - Jeffrey Dean Morgan

Ruth - The one and only Maggie Egan - I will accept no one but her. Just so ya know.

Lila - Claudia Christian
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Old January 19 2009, 07:41 PM   #5
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Re: HERO author needs Trek fans help casting gay hero

DJ Qualls for Larry.
Michelle Rodriguez is another possibility for Miss Scarlett.
Fred Ward for Wrecking Ball.
Peter Sarsgard for Ssnake?
Dean Cain as Justice?
Pamela Reed as Lila?
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Old January 19 2009, 08:46 PM   #6
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Re: HERO author needs Trek fans help casting gay hero

stj wrote: View Post
Michelle Rodriguez is another possibility for Miss Scarlett.
Only if Miss Scarlett is going to show up for 5 seconds or less total, and get vivisected immediately. Otherwise, no Michelle R thanks.
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Old January 20 2009, 02:33 AM   #7
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Re: HERO author needs Trek fans help casting gay hero

OmahaStar wrote: View Post
stj wrote: View Post
Michelle Rodriguez is another possibility for Miss Scarlett.
Only if Miss Scarlett is going to show up for 5 seconds or less total, and get vivisected immediately. Otherwise, no Michelle R thanks.
I'd see the movie if only to see that one 5 second scene if Michelle is playing the part.
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Old January 22 2009, 03:13 AM   #8
perrym
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Re: HERO author needs Trek fans help casting gay hero

Thank you OmahaStar and stj. Those are amazing casting ideas.

What do you think about Dennis Quaid as the dad. For a while I was thinking of him as the ideal Hal. Are there others like him?

And who is Christian Cooke? Very interested since he's the "hottest man on the planet."

I'll approach the Dr. Who forum if you think it's a good idea. How do you reach that particular forum?

Thanks for being so supportive of HERO.
We want to make it a sci-fi show for the ages, and considering the best of what's out there, we've set the bar awfully high!

The collective knowledge on this site is pretty amazing.

Best,

Perry
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Old January 22 2009, 05:31 PM   #9
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Re: HERO author needs Trek fans help casting gay hero

perrym wrote: View Post
I read in another post that there were very many gay fans among this site.
Wow, I had no idea there were proportionally more gay fans on this site than on others. I wonder why. I find that very interesting.
Well, that certainly explains things.

I've been on this site for nearly 7 years and I never knew about this.

Now I know why we have so many Trek-biggots on this site. (Meaning sci-fans who seem to only exclusively watch Star Trek as opposed to other sci-fi shows, and get really upset when there isn't a gay character on other shows, such as nuBSG.) Hell, I'm still pissed that Kirk kissed Uhura. (just kidding)

1. Thom -- the protagonist -- [snip] 2. he's discovering his sexual feelings may be for men, and not for women.
Why is this even a plotline? Why bring up sexuality of any kind in a superhero story?
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Old January 22 2009, 06:33 PM   #10
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Re: HERO author needs Trek fans help casting gay hero

perrym wrote: View Post
Thank you OmahaStar and stj. Those are amazing casting ideas.

What do you think about Dennis Quaid as the dad. For a while I was thinking of him as the ideal Hal. Are there others like him?

And who is Christian Cooke? Very interested since he's the "hottest man on the planet."

I'll approach the Dr. Who forum if you think it's a good idea. How do you reach that particular forum?

Thanks for being so supportive of HERO.
We want to make it a sci-fi show for the ages, and considering the best of what's out there, we've set the bar awfully high!

The collective knowledge on this site is pretty amazing.

Best,

Perry
Dennis Quaid is an interesting choice. When I read the description of the father my first thoughts were of Lance Hendrickson. He's got the old veteran look to him, and is an excellent actor.

My thoughts for the son would be Lucas Grabeel of the High School Musical movies. H'e a dancer, so is accustomed to a very physical role that a super hero should. I think he has a quality that would let him pull this role off.

I haven't read the book, but I get the impression the mother became transparent and never reappeared. If that's the case you need a very distinctive voice instead of look.
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Old January 22 2009, 06:53 PM   #11
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Re: HERO author needs Trek fans help casting gay hero

Johnny Rico wrote: View Post
Why is this even a plotline? Why bring up sexuality of any kind in a superhero story?
EVERY superhero story brings up sexuality. Superman brought up his sexuality everytime he thought of Lois, and Lois for Superman. Peter Parker brought up his sexuality in every interaction with Mary Jane, Felicia Hardy, Gwen Stacy, and a dozen other women. Bruce Banner, Betty Ross. Mr. Fantastic, The invisible Woman. The Thing, Alicia Masters.

They ALL brought up their sexuality. Only thing is, they were bringing up their HETEROsexuality. So what is so different about a character who brings up his sexuality, and it happens to be Homosexual?
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Old January 23 2009, 03:47 AM   #12
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Re: HERO author needs Trek fans help casting gay hero

No offense, but your story sounds very much like Kirkman's Invincible, with the added gay agenda/sensationalism angle. Not likely to catch on beyond the minority of gay comic readers, even with Stan "I'll write anything these days, since I didn't get as much money from the Spidey movies as I should have" Lee attached.

Sorry if that's offensive, but it's my honest opinion.
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Old January 23 2009, 05:40 PM   #13
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Re: HERO author needs Trek fans help casting gay hero

First off, I’m a massive fan of your book and was really sad to finish it. I’m also a massive fan of Genre TV and Comics too. I’m a fan of Star Trek but I’m also a massive and long standing fan of Doctor Who and I can attest that Doctor Who fandom is famous for its disproportionately large number of Gay fans and has been known for that since the 1970s at least.
It’s no coincidence that the current Executive Producer of Doctor Who is Russell T Davies – The creator of “Queer as Folk”. The show is full of Gay themes and has a spin off show called “Torchwood” which has a bisexual male lead character played by an openly Gay actor.
So really, if you want to ask this question you would a LOT better to go the infamous “Doctor Who Forum” which has many hundreds of Gay men and women among its 37,000 members.
There is in fact already a thread devoted to this production started my myself!!

http://www.doctorwhoforum.com/showthread.php?t=214748
So, you really should go over there. There are a couple of sceptical posts, but as a Board full of cynical Brits as well as Americans that’s part of the fun.

The Forum is run by Shaun Lyon a Gay Dr Who fan from LA. You can just register and Shaun is very accomodating to professional people on the forum and protecting them as a numer of the Dr Who Writers are forum Members.

There is a strong Dr Who fanbase In LA and the US at large and they have their big Convention in Feburary in LA with lots of Guests including Phil Collinson the Gay former Producer of Dr Who. Paul Cornell, a straight but Gay friendly Dr Who TV writer and Hugo Award Nominee will also be there. As will the straight actor Gareth David-Lloyd who plays the Bisexual Ianto and love interest of the male lead in the Dr Who spin-off Torchwood.

http://www.gallifreyone.com/gallifrey.php

As for casting here are some of my suggestions for the characters.
Thom – Mitch Hewer springs to mind, he’s played a Gay character already in a British show.

http://www.fitmales.co.uk/2009/01/to...tch-hewer.html
http://www.teenidols4you.com/picture...tch_hewer.html
http://mitchhewer.net/

Hal – I’d go for someone like James Marsters who doesn’t quite fit the physical build but is a mature actor with the kind of charismatic gravitas the part needs.
You could also think about Charlie Hunnam for Uberman and John Barrowman for Justice.

Here is an article about John, a Gay actor, who plays the Bisexual Captain Jack in Doctor Who and the Spin Off Torchwood.

http://www.afterelton.com/people/2006/5/barrowman.html

Last edited by zodin4spock; January 23 2009 at 06:32 PM.
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Old January 23 2009, 05:58 PM   #14
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Re: HERO author needs Trek fans help casting gay hero

perrym wrote: View Post
And who is Christian Cooke? Very interested since he's the "hottest man on the planet."
Christian is a British Actor who is currently playing the lead in a Buffy-Style British show but has had other big roles in Dr Who and Echo Beach.
http://i168.photobucket.com/albums/u.../CC/chase1.jpg
http://i168.photobucket.com/albums/u...emp/CC/ca3.jpg
http://www.fitmales.co.uk/search/lab...istian%20Cooke

perrym wrote: View Post
I'll approach the Dr. Who forum if you think it's a good idea. How do you reach that particular forum?
I really would, in addition to the thread already there. You could also scout out for casting ideas in the Leisure Hive sub-forum there which is a part of the forum where more mature subjects can be discussed and where many of the gay fans congregate and discuss whatever takes their fancy.
http://www.doctorwhoforum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=27
There is also a very active Comics Sub-Forum.
http://www.doctorwhoforum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=157

Last edited by zodin4spock; January 23 2009 at 06:31 PM.
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Old January 26 2009, 12:20 PM   #15
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Re: HERO author needs Trek fans help casting gay hero

I've had a think and I've come up with my own dream cast list. I keep coming back to British actors for some reason. Not a problem as pretty much every major US show is full of British actors playing americans. Plus a lot of the US names you might suggest are commited to long 22 season runs already which rules them out - something that doesn't happen to UK actors. Here are my fantasy castings.

Thom - Mitch Hewer (Skins and Britania High)
Goran - Christian Cooke
Hal Creed - Treat Williams
Ruth - Phyllida law
Scarlett - Billie Piper
Larry - Joe Dempsie
Goldenboy - Chace Crawford
Uberman - Jensen Ackles
Justice - John Barrowman

Goran the strong and silent type so would be perfectly suited for Christian's more dry humour that he puts in some of his performances. I think Mitch has that kind of bright and bouncy energy while still being vulnerable and strong that Thom has in the novel.

I think the show will need to target that straight female audience that has a massive thing for male/male stories in Slash Fiction and Yaoi. That seems to be at the core of Torchwood's success fro BBC America and powered the audience for Brokeback Mountain.
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