The words are not coming easily today, and my mind is wandering. While plotting out one of the more violent and dramatic actions sequences in From Shattered Stars, I started thinking about what it would actually look like to see a squad of armed Tankers barrelling down the ramp of an Imperial lander.
In the coming fourth novel, we will see much more of Squad Four, the Tankers from Downfall Company's first platoon. These are the same guys who first popped up in List of the Dead, and who returned to assist Elm Caden in The Ravening Deep. As I worked out who would do what, and how violently they would do it, my brain wanted to put faces to the troops.
So this is what I came up with as a Dream Team in the as-yet imaginary movie version of From Shattered Stars...
Robbie Archer as Sergeant Zolyn "The Fist" Feior
They don't come more entertaining than Robbie Archer. The 6'6" Canadian stuntman-turned-actor has featured in Defiance, Lost Girl, and several movies, and he brought fun to all of them. I for one would love to see him smashing apart Voice's legions. And get this — he already has a skull tattooed on his throat, which is exactly how The Fist is described in The Ravening Deep... I'm not totally convinced Big Robbie didn't plan that. His Facebook page is proving hard to find (and I know I used to follow it, maybe it has gone) but he is still on Instagram.
Martyn Ford as Corporal Frane "Frenzy" Harth
If ever a man already was a Tanker, that man is Martyn Ford. At 6'8" tall (2.03m), and covered in ink, he is exactly as imposing as Frane Harth is supposed to be. Slap some Imperial Combine combat armour on top of him (with downright offensive customisations, of course) and he would basically be a walking tank... which he would need to be, to keep any sort of control of Bear Mtenga and Ragnar Otkellsson. Martyn is on Facebook and Instagram.
Hafþór Björnsson as Private Ragnar "Overkill" Otkellsson
There is only one man anybody wants to see as Ragnar, and that is clearly Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson. An inch taller than even Martyn Ford, the professional strongman is already infamous as the Game of Thrones character "The Mountain" (and, strangely, the shortest actor to have played that role), and it is not hard to see why. He has already shown that he would be perfectly suited to punching his way through a crowd of Thralls. Hafþór is also on Facebook and Instagram.
Big Phil Heath as Private Bear Mtenga
Okay, so Phil Heath would need to grow out his beard (which would also give him time to find somewhere that sells ten-inch platform shoes), but if there is anyone who would play a more fun Bear Mtenga I've never heard of them.
If you can't imagine Big Phil skewering a Viskr skulker with a metal rebar, then skipping away merrily to find something else to break, you are basically not alive. Like most of the others, Phil is on Facebook and Instagram.
Roelly Winklaar as Private Jide "The Meat" Mokus
I'm fairly certain that Roelly Winklaar already has a button somewhere about his person labelled "press here to activate Tanker mode". Although he is going to need to go shoe shopping with Phil Heath, he's definitely got the whole Tanker vibe going.
Jide Mokus will be far more noticeable in Whom Gods Shall Fear than he was in From Shattered Stars, and his antics will bring Roelly's trademark grin to mind. Follow Roelly on Instagram!
Downfall One-Four has a whole bunch more people in it, to be sure. There is of course Burner, who as a Rodori could essentially be motion captured by anyone. Then there is Shinji "Carnage" Kuronaga, his pal Biran “The Boulder” Gorgovic, and finally Haynis “The Rhino” Rothrom.
And those are just the soldiers from fire teams Alpha and Bravo. Corporal Stroun “Crusher” Coren leads fire teams Charlie and Delta, which — excluding him — comprise another seven dangerously trigger-happy berserkers.
Any comments or suggestions? Who would you cast in the empty roles? And can you think of any better choices for the ones I've put faces to?