People do fan casts all the time. And people with their own original characters (from herein called OCs) do it to. I’m no different. Here’s the fan cast (or my cast) for the characters of Tales of Six Gun and Sorcery (previously known as The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider). These are the actresses and actors that I sometimes envision when I’m writing the adventures of the gunslinging elves.
It’s long, so it’s all under the cut.
Shani Wennemein played by Andrea Menard
I know a lot of people are probably thinking “who the hell is Andrea Menard” considering she’s not a big box office draw such as Scarlet Johanson. But Menard has her successes in the small screen and the big screen. She’s also an accomplished blues and jazz singer. And she fits what I want for Shani; that Metis aspect of elves, that there are First Nation folklore about elves, and Shani is at least half of that (the other half being European French). Menard is a Metis woman born in Flin Flon, Manitoba, raised in Saskatchewan, and works in Vancouver, British Columbia. She’s had leading roles in the supernatural suspense thrillers Rabbit Fall and Moccasin Flats, and is the voice actress for Sarah Merasty and Kohkum on the stop motion animated series Wapos Bay. While I’m not sure if Menard can pull off an Arkansas accent like Shani can, it’s Menard who I see whenever I’m writing about the elven gunslinger.
Pania Alow played Kate Beckinsale
Kate Beckinsale is no stranger to the action adventure genre of film, and she actually has a very wide range. From the Underworld series, to White Out, to Van Helsing to the most recent Total Recall remake. She’d do the part well enough of the elven swashbuckler with a penchant for arcane destruction. Some might argue that in The Adventures of Black Mask & Pale Rider, Pania is a blond whereas Beckinsale is not. Well, that’s what wigs and hair dye is for. Personally, while most didn’t like Van Helsing, it’s Beckinsale’s portrayal that struck a chord for how Pania should look. And while Beckinsale is proper British, she’s been able to pull off so many different accents in her movie character, she’d probably be able to pull off a sing songy type Irish accent.
Wren Wennemein played by Irene Bedard
Wren is Shani’s sister, so I wanted someone who reflected a part of Shani’s ancestry. Irene Bedard came to mind. Bedard is known as the voice of Pocahontas in the Disney motion picture, but she’s had many roles since 1994. She also played the voice of Shelly Longshadow in the animated series Young Justice: Invasion. While most of her body of work has included voice acting, for such shows as What’s New Scooby Doo, Turko: Son of Stone, and the Spectacular Spider-man, she’s still done a wide range of roles in smaller films. She also has a voice that comes to mind whenever I’m writing Wren.
Abisayo Temililou played by Sanaa Lathan
Sanaa Lathan is my pick for the elven princess journeying to become a paladin, makes a side track into piracy for a while as she attempts to free slaves bound for Turtle Island. Lathan has been in a wide range of roles, most notably as the voice for Donna Tubbs in The Cleveland Show and Family Guy. My first sight of her came in Blade in 1998 as Vanessa Brooks and again in 2004 as Alexa Woods in Aliens vs Predator. Lathan was the first actress I thought of when I started creating the character of Abisayo. It’s almost like I’m trying to write the part for Lathan, in a way (which isn’t really unlike who I write the other four elves in the series).
Jonathon Caleb Walker played by Sam Eliot
The elves meet Walker in Oxford, Mississippi, where nothing magical happens, but they face off against a gang of cowboys who dispense their own justice. Sam Eliot has been my go to guy for a tough as nails, but well meaning and very caring gunslinger. He played the part well in the movie Tombstone, and was part of the inspiration for the main character in my other book, Canyons of Steel.
Marshal Martin Derringer played by Sean Bean
In a fight against the devil’s rider, Shani, Pania and Wren are aided by U.S. Marshal Derringer. Derringer hides a secret, one that is connected to an ancient Roman gladius he wears on his hip next to his six guns. I’ll admit, it did take me a while before I finally had the look down for Derringer (a.k.a. Thadius Maximus). But Sean Bean’s characterizations grew on me (even if a lot of them were villains). Fortunately, this is one series that Bean’s character doesn’t die a grizzly death. Which may be another reason why I thought of him; maybe it’s time some pity was given to him and he can be in a movie where he actually survives to the end.
Clayton “Slowhand” Adams played by Denzel Washington
Slowhand helped Shani, kept her safe and even taught her how to shoot after she managed to have her own pistols forged from elven steel and mithril. An escaped slave, Slowhand is just as much a gunfighter as he is a philosopher and an historian. Washington’s acting resume is long. Known for dramatic pieces and action pieces, he’s played some memorable characters. It was Washington who came to mind when I wrote the character of Clayton “Slowhand” Adams, and I envisioned his laugh and his way of talking when I’d write scenes with Adams and Shani.
Ezekiel Morgan played by Jamie Foxx
On a whim, Shani frees Ezekiel from the slave market by purchasing him and giving him his freedom. He pays her back by helping Shani, Pania and Wren stop the black magic that a local plantation owner is using to zombify slaves. It’s also when the trio discovers Abisayo. Morgan was another tough one to pin down, but after seeing Foxx in Any Given Sunday, I knew he’d be perfect. Morgan appears twice in the series, and has a bigger role in the second appearance as he joins the larger group to take down a skilled sorcerer. Foxx has played both dramatic and action roles (most recently in Django Unchained and The Amazing Spider-man 2.
These are just some of the actresses and actors that I’ve always thought of when I get a picture of the story in my mind, when the adventures of the gunslinging elves come to life.