Miss Gail Fantasy Casts Soulless the Movie (The Parasol Protectorate Series Special Extra)

Gentle Reader, this is a repost of an original article done ten years ago for My Book the Movie website. Consequently, some of my choices may no longer really work, but it’s my fantasy and I am sticking to it!

Fantasy Casting Soulless

Soulless is a comedic take on the urban fantasy genre set in Victorian London. With that kind of elevator pitch, you can probably guess I’d skip Hollywood and take less money if I could sell it to the BBC as a mini series. I’d settle for a fist-full of unknowns so long as it came out as well as their Cranford adaptation, but my assignment is to cast my ideal film, so here were go…

Our Intrepid Heroine

Alexia Tarabotti, London’s only preternatural, is an Italian-looking spinster with no soul, a big mouth and, quite frankly, even bigger nose. Visually, I modeled her off of Italian actress Sabrina Impacciatore mixed with celebrity chef Nigella Lawson.

Perhaps Claudia Black might be better suited to running around whacking obstreperous vampires willy-nilly with a parasol, but that girl’s gotta eat about ten cream teas first, then we’ll talk.

I also really love Gina Bellman of Leverage fame.

Werewolves of Note

For our hero, an oversized scruffy Scottish werewolf, I’m going to deviate from the expected (Gerard Butler) and pick James Purefoy. or Richard Armitage.

All are big guys who manage to emit a general air of clumsy confusion combined with slightly too wide smiles that look as though they might, just possibly, tear out your throat if they could just remember what that other thing was they wanted to do first.

For Professor Lyall, Lord Maccon’s long-suffering beta, I’m choosing Kevin McKidd of Rome fame.

And for Lord Maccon’s claviger, the irreverent Tunstell? Gotta have Alan Tudyk hamming it up with shockingly red hair and a penchant for singing bad opera at inopportune moments.

Vampires of Interest

Lord Akeldama is Alexia’s dearest friend, a gay vampire in charge of a spy network the Scarlet Pimpernel would envy with the flamboyance of Oscar Wilde. I modeled him (of course) off of Richard Chamberlain circa The Slipper and the Rose.

I’m thinking, Paul Bettany. He stripped starkers for A Knight’s Tale so I figure he’s probably open to most possibilities, but he is rather tall and gangly. I could see Jonathan Rhys Myers if I wanted to lean a bit more pouty and petulant. But honestly there is a charming Welsh weatherman, Owain Wyn Evans, who basically is the living embodiment of Lord Akeldama.

You can follow him on Twitter, and you should!

In the enemy camp, I’d like Jennifer Ehle to portray Countess Nadasdy. Elizabeth Bennett may seem like an odd choice for a vampire queen, but the countess is a rosy-faced shepherdess type.

I’d surround her with three over-dramatic vampire males, each more cape-swirling than the last: Jason Isaacs as Lord Ambrose, Richard E. Grant as Dr. Caedes, and Gary Oldman as the Duke of Hematol.

Mundanes of Relevance

Ivy Hisselpenny is Alexia’s foil and female BFF. I had the hardest time casting her until I remembered Melanie Lynskey who’s perfect.

Or in Ivy’s case, hats.

As for Alexia’s outrageously impossible family? I’ll take one each of the following: Squire Loontwill – Hugh Laurie, Mrs. Loontwill – Imelda Staunton, Evylin – Kimberley Nixon. and Felicity – Jo Joyner or Romola Garai.

We mustn’t forget Floote, the oft put-upon butler who has Alexia’s best interests at heart. I choose the lovely Philip Glenister. I can think of no better straight man in the business right now.

For Mr. MacDougall, Alexia’s timid American beaux (I know, I know, an American – shocking!) I’d slip in Kevin Smith, just for a lark. And for Mr. Siemons, our scientist of suspicious motivations? Who could beat out a pipe-puffing, mutton-chop sporting Stephen Fry?

More fantasy casting?

  • You can see me cast Prudence and the Custard Protocol in this post.
  • Character’s fantasy actors or inspirational public & historic figures are often pinned to my character Pinterest boards. All the Parasolverse characters are listed under “Parasolverse” first.

Has Soulless Been Optioned?

It was, and then is wasn’t, and now we are back out on proposal and there is modest interest. I talk all about this and how unlikely it is for a book option to turn into a film in this blog post

And so I leave you Gentle Reader.

Your in Hollywood fantasy,

Miss Gail

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OUT MAY 18, 2019!

The 5th Gender (a Tinkered Stars sci-fi as G. L. Carriger). COVER ART TO BE SEEN SOON BY THE CHIRRUP.

Sci-fi queer romance meets cozy mystery featuring a hot cop, the most adorable purple alien ever (lavender, pulease!), and a race with 5 genders.


  • Reticence, The 4th and final Custard Protocol book. August 6, 2019
  • Secret Project Ommm, October 31, 2019 to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Soulless.
  • Need to know what Gail is writing right now? That’s in the Chirrup.


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Parasol Magasin des Demoiselles Date October, 1869 Plate Number v. 47, 118

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Americans need to discover how wonderful the hot water bottle is.

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

A Quick Look at the Fine Art of Book Spine Design

Book News:

I would totally write this.

Quote of the Day:

“Sometimes I wonder what more I might have accomplished with my life, had I not spent the majority of it untangling cords.”

~ Gail Carriger

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