I’m growing impatient for The Witch of Blackbird Pond to be made into a movie. After waiting close to a decade for a movie to happen, I’m resigned. Maybe it will never happen. Maybe Puritans are just not appealing to Hollywood. Maybe movies about witch trials and colonial domestic life doesn’t equal box-office success. Whatever the reason, I’m sick of waiting. I’m casting my own damn movie!
The following are my very rough casting ideas. I can only think of actors for a few characters and I’ve yet to consider actors/actresses for Mercy Wood, Hannah Tupper, John Holbrook, William Ashbey, Aunt Rachel, etc…
So Witch of Blackbird Pond readers, this is your chance to comment and let me know what you think. If you’ve been harboring the ideal Kit Tyler or the ideal Nat Eaton inside, please give me your two cents. When I’ve gathered enough reader input, I’ll composite a collection of actor/actress images for voting.
Actress: Felicity Jones
Character description: There isn’t much physical description of Kit Tyler. Speare hints that she is thin with dark brown hair. Kit’s beauty is ambiguous: some characters think she is attractive, but other characters say she’s isn’t exactly pretty. So I’ve come to the conclusion that she’s pretty but not beautiful, but I imagine her as beautiful anyways.
Commentary: After watching Northanger Abbey (2007), I found Felicity Jones ridiculously beautiful—breathtaking even. However, she’s got the fresh-faced, trustworthy quality of a young heroine. I felt very comfortable looking at the world through her eyes.
Actor: Gaspard Ulliel
Character description: “She had noticed him often, his thin wiry figure swinging easily hand over hand up the rigging, his sandy, sun-bleached head bent over a coil of rope” (1).
Commentary: Gaspard Ulliel got passed up for the role of Edward Cullen in the Twilight movie. Does that mean he’s up for grabs in the WOBP movie? Okay, so he doesn’t have sandy blonde hair, but that can be easily remedied. Gaspard has the prerequisite “thin wiry figure” and I can see him swinging on the rigging. In the book, there is never any mention of Nat Eaton’s age, only references to his youth: “that cocky young seaman!” If Kit Tyler is 16, I assume Nat Eaton is 19 at the most. Remember, they don’t live that long back then.
Actor: Liam Neeson
Character description: “From his place at the head, a man unfolded his tall angular body and came toward her. She could not read the faintest sign of welcome on his thin stern lips or the dark eyes that glowered fiercely at her from under the heavy grizzled eyebrows” (32).
Commentary: Liam Neeson is the only actor I can think of who fits that physical description. Like Uncle Matthew, he can be fierce, commanding, and noble at the same time.
Actress: Alexis Bledel
Character description: “Judith’s face fulfilled every exquisite detail the picture she hand treasured of her imagined aunt. The clear white skin, the blue eyes under a dark fringe of lashes, the black hair that curled against her shoulders, and the haughty lift of her perfect small chin—this girl could have been the toast of a regiment!” (32).
Commentary: Isn’t Alexis Bledel known for her piercing blue eyes? And yes, she does look like the toast of a regiment.