|Nathaniel Parker and Louise Penny|
Last year she also became a movie producer. The CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation), PDM Entertainment and Attraction Images purchased the rights to make a movie of Still Life, the first book in the series which won a group of awards - Arthur Ellis, Dagger, Anthony, Barry and Dilys. Penny is one of four executive producers.
Penny had previously declined offers from companies that wanted to create a T.V. series using her characters. In a CBC interview she said:
“I just couldn't do that. I couldn't let them do whatever they wanted with these characters: Gamache, Clara, Ruth. These characters really seem alive to me."
In the same interview Penny provided a comment on the filming that included a remark about continuing character, Clara Morrow, an artist who has gained an increasingly important role in the books:
"The first day they were on set — when I saw Nathaniel Parker as Gamache and Kate Hewlett as Clara Morrow, who is actually me — I cried. I couldn't believe they were alive."
I had not known that the sensitive and talented Clara was Penny.
Having watched what A & E has done with the charcters of Craig Johnson in the T.V. series Longmire I can appreciate her concern over how film makers will treat her characters. While I like Longmire overall I like the characters in the books better than the T.V. series.
I was glad that she was able to insist that the filming be done in Quebec. It adds to a show to be filmed in the location in which it is set.
What did surprise me is that Armand Gamache will be portrayed by an English actor, Nathaniel Parker, who played Inspector Lynley in The Inspector Lynley Mysteries. He is not my image of Gamache.
I expect I am prejudiced that the producers did not choose a Canadian actor, especially a Quebec actor, to play Gamache who is a deeply Quebecois character in the books. I appreciate film makers should choose the best actors for roles but I will have to be convinced that Parker is right for the role.
The same group of companies who made Still Life have the rights to make a movie of the second book in the series, Dead Cold. The cautious Penny has not sold the rights to the third book. She wants to see how the movies of Still Life and Dead Cold turn out.
The CBC plans to air Still Life this fall. I am looking forward to watching the movie. I shall do my best to approach it with an open mind.
This post in my entry for "P" in that Alphabet in Crime Fiction hosted by Kerrie Smith at her blog, Mysteries in Paradise. Please drop over and see both the other entries and the many fascinating posts she has on her blog.
Thanks, Bill, for sharing this. I know precisely what you mean about choosing Nathaniel Parker as Gamache. We'll have to see how that goes. But I am very pleased that Penny will be so involved in this filming. I'll be really interested to see how it all goes.ReplyDelete
Margot: Thanks for the comment. I hope it will be a good movie. I really liked the book.ReplyDelete
Bill, thanks for writing about this. I hope Nathaniel Parker eventually lives up to your image of Armand Gamache. I am more often than not prejudiced about actors who play characters from the books I have read.ReplyDelete
Bill, I really enjoyed this post. I agree that the actor should have been from Quebec or at least Canadian, but I hope that Parker will do a good job. This was all so interesting and I hope that the film is well done and successful.ReplyDelete
Prashant: Thanks for the comment. I will try hard to let Parker impress me. I did like him as Lynley.ReplyDelete
TracyK.: Thanks for the comment. With few Canadian mysteries made into movies I am hoping it will be a great success.ReplyDelete
The Still Life TV movie is on CBC tonight at 8:00. Hope you enjoy!ReplyDelete
Nathaniel Parker is an excellent choice! As Ms. Penny has said, Gamache learned British English and thus speaks that language with a British accent. Also Parker is a very talented actor and we have really enjoyed his work. Lastly, Canadians excel at documentaries but I cringe at their dramatic productions, even with a good actor. I really hope this series is done well; it's a thankless task to try to capture mental images from a book in real life. The only time I've ever seen it done really well is with Joan Hickson as Miss Marple...ReplyDelete