That was one of the questions a reader included in an email yesterday while I was editing Spinward Fringe Frontline, and it occurred to me that I'd never actually answered it even though these books are really just films running in my brain before they're written down.
The answer will probably change in the future, since the Spinward Fringe series is always growing, shifting in style and complexity and talent is constantly being uncovered inside and outside of Hollywood.
So, I'll answer the question and more but quickly since I'm still editing Frontline. I'll also answer as though I have all the cash in the world and access to everyone I could ever want on the project.
If Spinward Fringe were to be comitted to film I'd want at least two 2 hour movies made to be followed up by a 3 hour third part.
The directors I'd choose include; Luc Besson (known for La Femme Nikita, The Professional and 5th Element), Peter Jackson (of Lord of the Rings and King Kong fame), or Martin Wood (known for Stargate Continuum, Sanctuary, Stargate Atlantis).
For the Soundtrack I'd hire Danny Elfman (Oingo Boingo, Batman, Nightbreed, Wanted), or Klaus Badelt (K-19: The Widowmaker, Pirates of the Caribbean). I'd love to see them work with Apocolyptica on a couple pieces for the film as well, and if you haven't seen the soundtrack I've built for Spinward Fringe Triton and Frontline you can check it out here: http://swinwardfringe.blogspot.com/2009/01/spinward-fringe-triton-and-frontline.html
On the production staff I'd love to see Joel Silver (known for the Matrix films, Veronica Mars and over 90 other films). He's known for dedicating himself to projects he believes in and supporting new ideas while maintaining a very shewd business sense. Any of the directors listed above would also make fantastic producers as they're good with production value and long time pros.
Who would I cast for the various parts? It's difficult to say because I've always pictured the core parts being played by actors who have had a lot of theater experience but not much exposure on television or film, so they'd be relative unknowns. As for the supporting cast (cameos and short term appearances), I'd love Wheeler to be played by Christian Slater, Ayan's mother to be played by Amanda Tapping (as long as she doesn't mind dying her hair red), and Lance Henrikson to play Doctor William Marcelles (check the end of the First Light Chronicles Starfree Port for that character if you don't remember). You get the gist though, talented, famous people playing the smaller roles so the main cast doesn't feel like they're playing beside cardboard cutouts or acting class newbies and the fans get a thrill at seeing staples of the industry popping in.
As for adaptation, I'd rather see it adapted closely. The early books are fairly short because they were written to provide an experience that was similar to watching a television show or film so a fairly direct adaptation would be possible. The later books; Triton and Frontline are more complex, so there might be a little more adaptation work there, but not much. Oh, and I'll be getting back to the cleaner, faster style of writing that I started the Spinward Fringe series with (in Resurrection and Awakening), after Frontline is out. Writing an incredibly fast paced 400 page book has been more exhausting and time consuming than I thought, but it's been worth it!
Anyway, that's my quick and dirty pie in the sky wish list for the first three Spinward Fringe films. Considering how little control an author gets when an adaptation takes place I don't think it'll ever happen IF the series gets optioned, and I actually hope it does some day.
Thanks for the question Arthur. I'm sorry I won't cast Jake or Ayan, that's just not gonna happen until the film is made!
Just because I won't cast the main characters doesn't mean you can't! Who do you think should play your favourite character(s)?