As sometimes happens when Iâ€™m walking to work (which I am, once again, after 37 glorious weeks of parental leaveâ€“thank you to the socialist paradise), I was listening to a tune, thinking about gaming scenarios. As has happened before, it segued into thinking about a story/screenplay.
Now some of you may haveÂ heard my riffÂ onÂ the Qalashar DeviceÂ from Gen Con, which I entitled â€œQalashar Dogs.â€ I took the facility fromÂ the Qalashar Deviceand dropped in a CIA operative suffering from lycanthropy. In any case, I was thinking about how that could work as a story and/or novel. It morphed in my thoughts, and when it got to the movie screen in my head, a dramatic shift took place.
If you want a team working in the Hindu Kush region stretching from Afghanistan into Pakistan, and you want that team to move around unnoticed, you probably donâ€™t want a bunch of Caucasians. You probably want some people with a bit of colour. People who could really blend in.
Now, in my â€œmovie,â€ the team isnâ€™t Pashtun or Tajik or anything like that. They would all speak the local languages and dialects, but they would be assembled from around the world and chosen because they stand out less than white guys. One reason for the conceit is so that I can cast specific actors.
Well, at least I can once the script is done and the financing is secured. Translation: only in my daydreams.
Another conceit is that in the script, they would only be given code-names. That is because once the parts are cast, the character would then be given the same ethnic background as the actor. That way, while the idea is that these operators could infiltrate the area, they areâ€“just as the actors areâ€“â€œplayingâ€ an ethnicity.
I have no idea if any of these guys could fool an actual local, but I think it would work for a movie.
So, the cast.
Faran Tahir, who was such an awesome presence in Star Trek, would be the Captain. Heâ€™s the leader of a special operations team known only as â€œTroop 7.â€ He would be a Delta operative of Pakistani descent but born and raised in the US.
SaÃ¯d Taghmaoui,Â whom I first noted inÂ Three KingsÂ would be Ghost, the recon expert. His character would be French, but of Moroccan descent, and a special forces operative from theÂ 1st Marine Infantry Parachute Regiment.
Cliff CurtisÂ isÂ the best of the bunch for me. Not because heâ€™s the best actorâ€“though he is phenomenalâ€“but because he is a New Zealander who actually does play a lot of ethnic roles. I noticed him first inÂ Three KingsÂ (it was a very good movie), and then caught him in a great role in a mediocre movie,Deep Rising.Â Deep RisingÂ really is mediocre, but the cast makes it a great watch. In any case, Mr. Curtis would be Smoke, a MaoriÂ NZ SASÂ sniper.
While many may knowÂ Sendhil RamamurthyÂ fromHeroes, I know him fromÂ Ultimate Force, the SAS drama from the UK. Again, serendipity, as he could easily play an SAS operator of Tamil descent. He would be Doc, the medic and tech expert.
I would actually like a bigger team, but I donâ€™t know if it would work cinematically. I think the excess characters would get lost in the shuffle. As I envision the story, after a prologue scene where the team rescues a CIA operative and the crew of the aircraft he was in, they are called in to rescue another CIA operative, this time from a downed helicopter. And this time, they must take along a couple of CIA spooks as the â€œpackageâ€ is infected with a virulent pathogen. Iâ€™m thinking the spooks are a doctor/scientist type, totally sincere, and the usual Special Activities Division tough guy, who intends to erase any evidence of the â€œpackageâ€ once she/he/it has been securedâ€“and that includes Troop 7.