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In a galactic empire, spread across hundreds of systems and connected only by the Flow, a "river" of space-time that allows access to every human settlement, change is coming. The Flow will soon be gone, and the humans who live in this empire, called the Interdependency, must confront their changing circumstances.

That's The Collapsing Empire in a nutshell, but it's also so much more because of the wide array of characters that we go along with on their journey through the beginning of the end of an empire. There's the son of the scientist who discovered the Flow's days were numbered; a guild official whose obscene delightful, and confident engagement with the world clears many paths for her except in the case of people greedier than even she is; and a princess who was never meant to rule facing a throne she never wanted. They're up against a scheming trio of siblings, slow-moving bureaucracy, and the end of the comfortable worlds they're used to.

When my pals started reading this book, it was impossible to resist having discussions about fancasting it because it was so cinematic and character driven. [twitter.com profile] kaytaylorrea did this first, over at Book Riot, and I do not disagree with any of her choices at all. I WOULD WATCH THE HECK OUT OF THAT.

Right after we had our discussion, the announcement went up about the TV rights sliding into someone's pocket, which is SUPER RELEVANT to my interests. Until it gets made, though, we get to dream about potential casts, and this is mine (unrealistic as it may be). There are some light spoilers in this fancast, so be careful!

Chloe Bennet as Cardenia Wu-Patrick
Chloe Bennet as Cardenia Wu-Patrick

Cardenia Wu-Patrick is also Grayland II, newly minted Emperox of the Interdependency, following her father's death. Cardenia wasn't raised to the position. Her brother, Rennered, was the heir, but unfortunately he died in an accident, leaving Cardenia to fill his shoes. She's not excited about it, but she's also making the best of a bad situation. This is the character [twitter.com profile] kaytaylorrea agree on: it's gotta be Chloe Bennet, who has both the dramatic and comedy chops to bring the right amount of resignation and frustration that Cardenia experiences, with the underlying humor of "How the hell did I end up here?"


Ken Watanabe as Batrin
Ken Watanabe as Batrin

Batrin, Cardenia's father, I immediately saw as Ken Watanabe. We don't spend much time with Batrin, because as book begins he's busy dying so Cardenia can take over his position. But he's important as the story goes on, both to the person Cardenia is and Emperox she becomes. And maybe I really liked his work in Inception and have imprinted on the part where he bought the airline...because it was neater. Someone to pull off rich person logic? Sold. #BIAS


Jennifer Lawrence as Naffa Dolg
Jennifer Lawrence as Naffa Dolg

Naffa Dolg, one of Cardenia's friends and also her closest advisor is a snarky, competent character. Naffa brings a lot of joy to Cardenia's life and their friendship is full of all the quirks of knowing each other for years. Even as I read this book I pictured Jennifer Lawrence in this role. Also, I can very easily picture Bennet and Lawrence carrying off this type of close, long friendship that has to be quickly established and believable.


Lyndie Greenwood as Kiva Lagos
Lyndie Greenwood as Kiva Lagos

The second main character we meet is Kiva Lagos, who is a member of the House of Lagos. In the Interdependency, different Houses have monopolies over certain items. Kiva's house has the monopoly on citrus of all types. Kiva is crass, blunt, outrageous, and amazing. She's also bisexual, and this warms my heart, because she's also strategic, loyal, and quick-thinking. I love her and would 100% want to see her played by Lyndie Greenwood. People who watched Sleepy Hollow before it turned to garbage can perhaps share my vision. It would be awesome.


Vanessa Williams as Huma Lagos
Vanessa Williams as Huma Lagos

Of course, Kiva has a badass mother. There's a line from the book getting a ton of play, where Kiva watches her mother work and wants to be like her when she grows up. Unfortunately we only get to see Huma Lagos a bit, but if I could give it to anyone for the scene we get to watch Huma deliver in the book, I would give it to Vanessa Williams, who would set it on fire (I'm forever awed by the first season of Ugly Betty).


Oscar Isaac as Marce Claremont
Oscar Isaac as Marce Claremont

The third character we meet is Marce Claremont, the son of the scientist that discovered the Flow was going caput and the Interdependency was screwed; he's charged to communicate the news to the Emperox. I'm biased, because I am a sucker for the visual of softie scientist Oscar Isaac (seriously, he had the ability to be the human form of one of those Japanese bread rolls that look like pigs or bears). I think he would be perfect for this role: give him some gentle curls, a vague futuristic print tee, and a stuffed animal—he's good to go.


Stephanie Beatriz as Vrenna Claremont
Stephanie Beatriz as Vrenna Claremont

Marce has a sister, Vrenna, and this giving this role to Stephanie Beatriz was a no-brainer for me after I read Vrenna threatening a character with a note saying, "Don't sleep in the same bed twice." She's a cop and also super protective of her family! I like Beatriz for this because I've seen her work on Brooklyn 99 and lots of interviews; she could totally pull it off. Vrenna is a pretty nice character as long as you don't piss her off who cares deeply for her brother, and that doesn't get overshadowed by the tough parts.


Jimmy Smits as Jamies Claremont
Jimmy Smits as Jamies Claremont

Their father, Count Claremont, and the Flow physicist that discovered the approaching End of the Flow, and Therefore, the Interdependency, I would cast as Jimmy Smits. I am Biased after The West Wing, and would like to see him do a cool role in another science fiction property where he might have a more substantial role. Jimmy Smits as an older scientist! Imagine him with salt and pepper hair and beard and glasses, being smart and ruining the days of the bad guys. Ahhhhh, I want it so much.


Sarah Shahi as Nadashe Nohamapetan
Sarah Shahi as Nadashe Nohamapetan

The antagonists of The Collapsing Empire are excellent. They're not evil monsters, simply greedy people who take every chance to get ahead. The plot of the book makes it clear that the system of government creates the culture for it, so they're not great people, but they're not maniacally laughing villains. The most ambitious antagonist is Nadashe Nohamapetan, who I picture in her childhood talking her brothers into pretty much anything and having all her schemes work just fine, thanks. So they're willing to go along with her into adulthood. I would want Sarah Shahi to do this, because she would be perfect because she can project a very friendly vibe while meanwhile she screws you behind your back. I can just see her sipping wine forbidden to anyone but her own family (read the book) while plotting to take over the government.


Ethan Rains as Amit NohamapetanDominic Rains as Ghreni Nohamapetan
Ethan and Dominic Rains as Amit and Ghreni Nohamapetan

For Amit, who is the Nohamapetan brother trying to get in with Cardenia so the Nohamapetan family can tap Extreme Cosmic Power through both through Cardenia's house as well as any future emperox that Amit and Cardenia might create, I would cast Ethan Rains. And for the brother carrying out the hardest part of Nadashe's plan nine months away from any help or family support, I would cast Ethan's brother, Dominic Rains as Ghreni Nohamapetan. The thing about the antagonists is that they're only all in a scene together once, and so visual continuity between the location where Nadasha and Amit are versus where Ghreni is will be important. (Also, they are both very pretty. Okay, fine, this is most of the reason.)


CCH Pounder as Arullos GineosJeremy Renner as Ollie Inverr
CCH Pounder as Arullos Gineos & Jeremy Renner as Ollie Inverr

Two characters with roles that set up the beginning of the book are very small, and the framing would probably have to change a bit to make it work, but I have Hopes they would remain. I will share them without spoilery comment for the enjoyment of people who have read the book and Know Me and my intense feelings: Arullos Gineos could be played by CCH Pounder and Ollie Inverr could be played by Jeremy Renner. :) :) :) :)

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