Monday, January 25, 2010

"Under the Dome' review and Miniseries-Dream Cast

I have been an avid Stephen King fan since around age 12, and have long resolved to read his complete works...which is no easy task, especially because he just keeps going!  Often criticized for how quickly he has books published, Stephen's most recent novel, the 1074-page "Under the Dome", has been in production since the mid '70s. Stephen's ultimate decision to come back to the novel (for a third attempt to finish it) came from constant pressure from his fans for him to write another 'epic novel'  such as "It" "The Stand" and "The Talisman".

Being both his longest book to date, as well as his best, "The Stand" seems to be the critics' favorite King-novel to compare 'Under the Dome' to, for more than one reason.  For one, the amount of characters.  Although 'The Stand' does have a plethora of main and supporting can't stand up to 'Under the Dome' which features about a dozen main characters, about two-dozen supporting characters and even more minor characters.

"Under the Dome" is a thrill ride from it's start, with the body count rising to double digits by the end of the first chapter. King keeps a thrilling pace throughout the novel, which is not without the patches of internal thought and something I don't remember clearly from any other novel of King's, a few moments where King speaks to the reader as an author, and alludes to him and the reader walking invisibly around two, occasionally brushing past some very confused characters. While I found this interesting, I'm still not sure how in love with it I was.  A few patches it worked wonderfully, other times it was a little irritating.

The book is not one of the horror novel the author is known for, but rather deals with humans' ability to be cruel to one another, and what the common man does under extraordinary circumstances. This is not a new theme for King (see "The Stand", "It", "The Mist") but is one of his better examples of it. 
Also like 'It' and 'The Body" (made into 'Stand By Me'), this book is another to empower children, and put them in serious positions of power, something I always enjoyed when I was one of King's 'younger readers', and still appreciate now.

All in all, the novel is a very enjoyable one and by far one of King's best newer novels.  For it's length, it is a pretty quick read, and I have no doubt that it will make a great miniseries, especially since the project is being held up by the one and only, Steven Spielberg.  Which is ironic, considering the novel contains a passage where Scarecrow Joe discusses his role as 'the smart kid', as being the one that would have to save the day in Spielberg movie.

Speaking of which, here is a quick plausible  cast list that i promised (some alternates included):

Dale "Barbie" Barbara................................Tim Daly
James "Big Jim" Rennie.............................John Goodman/Oliver Platt
Eric "Rusty" Everett...................................Michael C. Hall
Chief "The Duke" Perkins..........................Robert Duvall
Andy Sanders.............................................Alan Tudyk
Rose Twitchell............................................Kathy Bates
Peter Randolph...........................................Mark Ruffalo
Sammy Bushey...........................................Charlize Theron

There are loads more main characters, but at the moment I can't seem to come up with any good ideas for them.

So, if you've read, feel free to throw commentary on the cast my way.

Peace, boys and girls.


  1. If you want to be taken seriously as a writer, don't make errors such as the one in this phrase: "...a thrill ride from it's start."

  2. I love seeing Timothy Olyphant in anything!! He would be a good "Barbie" and a good Stu in the movie version of the Stand.

  3. Easy Mr Critical. It's just a blog post.

  4. Love your choices for Andy & Big Jim!

    In the book, Barbie is described as being 30 years old and Rose is described as being attractive enough that Barbie thinks if she were ten years younger, he'd think about her differently. So I feel like your choices of actors there may not be 100% faithful to the story; though maybe that's who you pictured.

    I think Barbie could be played by Casey Affleck--he's over 30 but could work for the role. Another option might be Taylor Kitsch.

    I pictured Rusty Everett being portrayed by Jason Lee--much as I love Michael C. Hall, that's not how I imagine Rusty.

    I think Rose should be played by Bonnie Bedelia, and Julia could be portrayed well by Frances Conroy.

    Junior should be DJ Qualls. Joe Flaherty would be great as Peter Randolph. Elizabeth Mitchell would be excellent as Linda Everett. I'd love to see John Hawkes in the mix somewhere--maybe as Phil Bushey. As for Sammy, I think she'd be played best by Lauren Ambrose or perhaps Busy Phillipps.

    There are so many others--the kids from Super 8 were great so maybe they should audition for the roles of Joe and Benny.

    I can't wait for the series--I'm sure it will be awesome.

  5. does someone knows when its coming out

  6. Daly or Olyphant as Baaaaaarbie...fine.
    Claude Akins would make a perfect Big Jim, were he alive. If John Goodman could pull it off, it would be a defining role.

  7. The second Big Jim was descibed in the book I totally saw John Goodman as being him in a movie version of the book. That being said, the best, in my opinion, bet for Junior would have to be Jonah Hill. He has come into the acting world in a big way and while he mostly does comedy, I think given the part he could do the crazy nut-job. Then, when junior goes mental near his end, that would be the comedy of Jonah Hill at its best!

  8. Why not DiCaprio for Barbie??? Lets just go all the way with this one!

  9. My new Review/Dream Cast for 11/22/63 is now up.

  10. Here's my picks for Under the Dome:
    *Dale "Barbie" Barbara - Thomas Jane
    *Julia Shumway - Elisabeth Moss
    *James "Big Jim" Rennie - John Goodman
    *Junior Rennie - Norman Reedus
    *Eric "Rusty" Everett - Martin Sheen
    *Joseph "Scarecrow Joe" McClatchey - Devon Bostick