While it’s unlikely that the Galaxy Ascendant series will ever be adapted for film, for numerous reasons (though one never knows for certain!), I’d be a liar if I said I never thought about what that might look like. I’m sure pretty much every author has. So, as I’ve seen several others do, I’m going to list who I might envision playing the principal characters in A Greater Duty, just for fun. As for basic ground rules, I’m not factoring in how much each of these actors would cost to cast, as this is a complete fantasy anyway, and I’m going to “cast” people as if the film were being made today–which means actors as they are today, and no actors that are no longer with us. As I haven’t spent a huge amount of time contemplating this, I may have more than one option for a couple of the characters
Let’s begin; I hope you’ll find this interesting.
Executor Darkclaw, the powerful, emotionless commander of the Tyrannodon fleet: Liam Neeson or Rory McCann
Darkclaw is big (over 7 feet tall), and a very dry, imposing figure. In addition to having someone who can physically pull that off, we need someone who is capable to believably portraying a powerful warrior, and can capture his unique demeanor. Liam is not as young as he used to be, but he can still do action–also, in many of Darkclaw’s action scenes, he’s in full armor, which would make the use of a stunt double easier. Also, Liam Neeson’s awkward-sounding American accent could well suit Darkclaw’s dry, emotionless voice. Rory McCann (the Hound on Game of Thrones), could definitely pull off the imposing presence and action required. The only issue with him would be whether he could do an American accent (even a bad one), as I most definitely do not envision Darkclaw as having a British accent.
Grand Admiral Nayasar Khariah, the passionate, driven commander of the Felinaris military: Gal Gadot or Sofia Boutella (honorable mention, Halston Sage)
For Nayasar, we’d need someone who could both believably pull off high-energy action, and the emotional vulnerability that serves as her driving force in her revenge quest. Gal Gadot is an obvious choice; with her performance in Wonder Woman, she can pull off both the emotional side as well as the warrior side of characters. She’s notably taller than Nayasar in the book, but that’s not a huge issue for me, so long as whoever plays Darkclaw is still clearly taller. Also, I envision the Felinaris as having Israeli/Mediterranean accents, which, of course, Gal can do easily. Sofia Boutella likewise can pull off the believable action as well as the accent (and she did play an alien in Star Trek Beyond), though she is also on the taller side, and I haven’t seen her play a more emotional role yet. As for my honorable mention, I didn’t even know who Halston Sage was until recently, with her role of Alara Kitan on The Orville. She’s done a great job portraying both the action and emotional side of the character, and is one of my favorites on the show. She’s also closer to the right height, though I don’t know if she could pull off the accent. Still, she’d be a solid choice.
Second Scion Dalcon Oresh, the loyal, honorable, Scion of Justice: Sebastian Stan
Dalcon, more so than Darkclaw and Nayasar, has complex, acrobatic actions scenes. Based on his performance in The Winter Soldier, and Civil War, he can pull that off, as well as Dalcon’s no-nonsense, duty-driven personality.
The High Lord, the all-powerful supreme leader of the Tyrannodons: Voiced by Matthew Mercer
The High Lord would most likely be a CGI character done with motion capture, and voice actor extraordinaire Matthew Mercer seems like an obvious choice. You’ve most likely heard his voice in most major video games you’ve played, and he can most vertically pull off the scary, villainous voice that the High Lord would require. He hasn’t as much live acting, but I’m sure he’d do fine with the fairly limited action the High Lord deigns to take part in during the story.
Admiral Felivas Kharitzon, the stalwart, level-headed leader: Pedro Pascal
Felivas, in contrast to his romantic partner Nayasar, is somewhat more measured and reserved, but a fierce fighter and skilled commander in his own right. Pedro Pascal proved in Game of Thrones that he can handle action scenes and portray a nuanced, compelling character. He also can pull off a fitting accent for Felivas.
First Scion Gendae, Dalcon’s mentor and leader of the Scions of Justice: James McAvoy or Peter Dinlage
Gendae is of an alien species that trends to the shorter side (but not super short), and is on the older side (though his species doesn’t age at the same pace as humans). He’s a fairly reserved, thoughtful figure that Dalcon has relied on for years even before the story. His exact height isn’t made explicit in the book, so I chose two actors or varying height, and both of whom I think could pull off an older, wiser warrior (though Gendae has only a single action scene in the book, if a large one.) Both McAvoy and Dinlage could pull the character off well, though I think their portrayals would be markedly different.
Adviser Rotam ren Parstin, savvy political strategist: Kristian Nairn
For the physically imposing, subtly clever Darivan politician, why not go with another great Game of Thrones alum? Kristian Nairn, well known for playing Hodor, has a build perfectly suited to the tall, broad Darvians. Rotam doesn’t get involved in the action much in the book, but plays a significant role, and has some great scenes with both Dalcon and Nayasar, and I think Nairn would do a fine job there–and he’d get more lines than he did as Hodor.
First Flight Commander Senkar, the loud, aggressive warrior: Nicholas Cage
Ok, this is a bit of a “purely for fun” choice here, as Senkar’s role in A Greater Duty is fairly small, but given that he, and most of the avian Snevans are loud, aggressive, and talk in somewhat awkward, screechy voices–they’re basically always over acting, by and large, so it’d be a lot of fun to let Nicholas Cage cut loose for this role.
There we have it; that was fun! The cast of the A Greater Duty movie that will probably never exist here, but perhaps does in some alternate reality. We can dream, can’t we?
For those who’ve read the book, feel free to make your own suggestions in the comments.
And, if you haven’t checkout out A Greater Duty yet, what are you waiting for; it’s on sale for only $0.99! And book 2 in the Galaxy Ascendant series, A Looming Shadow, is now available as well. And lastly, sign up for my mailing list for important updates, a free sci-fi novelette, and short fiction set in the Galaxy Ascendant.