Adaptations of books are always tricky, in no small part because there is so much pressure on casting the right actor for the right character. Get it wrong, and you might mess up the entire adaptation.
I might not be a casting expert, but I still have some Opinions™ about who plays who, which I’m going to be sharing with you today. I’ve picked a bunch of characters, some of whom are quite random, from books that I love and found the actor that I think best fits the role. These aren’t all perfect, especially in terms of age, but hey, if movies can cast 25 year olds as 16 year olds, I can too. I mostly just went with whoever I think fits the character best.
So now let’s get into my imagined casting for some of my favorite books!
Eva Noblezada as Blue Sargent (The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater)
Where I know her from: Hadestown
I don’t remember where I first saw this fancasting, but ever since then, I can’t let it go because it aligns so well with my mental image of Blue. As far as I remember, Blue never sings in The Raven Cycle, but if she had to in an adaptation, we know that Eva Noblezada would do it beautifully!
Saoirse Ronan as Gwenllian (The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater)
Where I know her from: Little Women, Lady Bird, etc.
I think we all deserve to see Saoirse Ronan as an immortal, half-mad witch who gives people ominous warnings and then runs away cackling, right?? We’ve seen her play a lot of different types of roles, and I think she would absolutely nail this one.
Anya Chalotra as Katsa (Graceling by Kristin Cashore)
Where I know her from: The Witcher
I may not have watched The Witcher, but from what I’ve seen from generally being on the internet, Anya Chalotra would fit just right as a badass warrior lady like Katsa. I would be honored to watch her beat people up.
Fionn O’Shea as Elliot Schafer (In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan)
Where I know him from: Handsome Devil
At least 90% of the reason I thought of this casting is because I watched a movie recently where this actor played a very Elliot-like character and I couldn’t get it out of my brain. I think he would do a great job with bringing across Elliot’s sassiness!
Letitia Wright as Jane McKeene (Dread Nation by Justina Ireland)
Where I know her from: Black Panther
Letitia Wright was obviously amazing as Shuri in Black Panther, so I would love to see her as Jane, killing zombies and sassing people left and right and making everyone fall in love with her. It would be truly beautiful.
Katie McGrath as Sabran Berethnet (The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon)
Where I know her from: Merlin, Supergirl
From what I’ve seen of Katie McGrath, she would be amazing playing Sabran’s cold detachedness with an undercurrent of uncertainty. I’ve definitely seen people fancast her for this role before, and I understand why because she fits so well.
Medalion Rahimi as Ead Duryan (The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon)
I’ve never seen Medalion Rahimi in anything so I can’t exactly speak to her acting skills, but as soon as I saw a picture of her, I gasped because she was the ultimate Ead. This is pretty much exactly how I pictured Ead, so obviously she’s the right casting choice!
Noah Galvin as Bitty (Check, Please! by Ngozi Ukazu)
Where I know him from: Booksmart, Dear Evan Hansen
He might have to go blonde for the role, but in every other way, Noah Galvin seems like the natural choice for Bitty. I think he could definitely embody Bitty’s sweet, endearing naiveté as well as his determination.
Shannon Purser as Leah Burke (Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli)
Where I know her from: Stranger Things
Even though Katherine Langford did a great job as Leah on Love, Simon, Shannon Purser is much closer to how I actually imagine Leah. I know we’re most likely never going to get a Leah adaptation, so I’ll just live in my dream world where she gets her own story with this actress.
Kiernan Shipka as Darcy Olsson (Heartstopper by Alice Oseman)
Where I know her from: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
I don’t think I’ve even seen anything with Kiernan Shipka in it, but every time I see a picture of her, I think of Darcy, so I couldn’t resist. It’s the eyebrows! This wouldn’t work perfectly because she’s not British, but whatever.
Natasha Negovanlis as April May (An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green)
Where I know her from: Carmilla
I’ve only seen Natasha Negovanlis in Carmilla, where she plays a very different type of character, but I think she would do an amazing job of bringing across the sharpness that April has to her, as well as her sense of humor. I would like to see it!!
Leah Lewis as Mia (On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden)
Where I know her from: The Half of It
I stared at the cover of On a Sunbeam for a full minute before this casting choice hit me and I gasped out loud. I just saw Leah Lewis in The Half of It, and I think she would be able to portray both the younger and older versions of Mia flawlessly.
Alex Boniello as Baz Pitch (Carry On by Rainbow Rowell)
Where I know him from: Dear Evan Hansen
My musical theatre side is coming out again with this casting. I saw Alex Boniello as Connor Murphy in Dear Evan Hansen, and I think he could portray Baz’s emo vampire vibes very well. Again, not perfect because he’s not British, but at least he looks the part.
Maisie Williams as Lila Bard (A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab)
Where I know her from: Game of Thrones
I’m definitely not the first one to think of this casting, because I think I first saw it in a tweet from V.E. Schwab herself. But now that it’s in my head, I can’t picture anyone else as Lila! Based on the, like, four episodes of Game of Thrones that I’ve seen, she would fit this character wonderfully.
Keiynan Lonsdale as Zachary Ezra Rawlins (The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern)
Where I know him from: Love, Simon
I would kill to see Keiynan Lonsdale with Zachary’s Dark Academia Look™. Zachary has to be an incredibly likable and relatable character who we follow through his adventures, and I can definitely imagine Keiynan Lonsdale nailing it.
Keira Knightley as Mirabel (The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern)
Where I know her from: Pride & Prejudice, Pirates of the Caribbean, etc.
Am I choosing this casting because the idea of Keira Knightley as a pink-haired immortal lady of legends makes me want to scream? Yes, absolutely. And I’m not ashamed of that. Honestly, I’d be happy to have Keira Knightley just in every movie ever, thanks.
Florence Pugh as Selia (The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale)
Where I know her from: Little Women
Florence Pugh as Selia could step on me and I would thank her. Truly, the world needs Florence Pugh to play a smooth-talking, back-stabbing villain; she would perfectly embody Selia’s terrifying beauty and deceitfulness.
Ana de Armas as Evelyn Hugo (The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid)
Where I know her from: Knives Out
To be quite honest, if they ever make an Evelyn Hugo adaptation and don’t cast Ana de Armas, I don’t even know what the point is. She may have played a completely different type of character in Knives Out, but she was so incredible that I know she would play a dynamic, complex character like Evelyn Hugo to perfection. Please I want it so badly.
Do you agree or disagree with any of my casting choices? Who would you cast for your favorite characters?