If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, you know that I’ve been thinking about the day when Olive will be featured in her own animated movie. Naysayers may call this just a pipe dream, but luckily there have been no naysayers. And this is no pipe dream: it’s a plan. I haven’t made any critical headway on this, but I am laying the groundwork, sort of.
Putting the cart well ahead of the horse, I’ve begun to select celebrity voices to play the roles of characters from the books. Animation will be excellent, I’m sure—nothing short of other work done by Dreamworks, Pixar, etc. But it’s the voices that bring life to the characters on the big screen, so assigning voice talent is critical.
Rather than simply picking random people for the voices, I’ve decided that this very special project will require voices from people who are also passionate fly fishing folks. The movie, just like the books, are not just about fly fishing, but it is the obvious vehicle for telling the story and the messages of conservation and stewardship are important.. The good thing is that there are many qualified people to fill the roles of the characters.
Jane Seymour is emerging as a frontrunner to play the starring role of Olive. It doesn’t matter that she’s not a child—with her talents she could easily pull it off. And she strikes me as a nice person, which is absolutely necessary in order to play the main character. Ms. Seymour is a widely talented actress, from her starring role on Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman to her appearance on Dancing with the Stars. Why not add a Woolly Bugger to her resume?
Some of the other characters are falling into place nicely as well. For example, Wilford Brimley, Lawrence Fishburne or Tom Selleck would be excellent as Mr. Muddler Minnow. This role calls for a distinguished, authoritative voice with a hint of gruffness. At the same time, the voice of Olive’s nurturing instructor must have the ability to be softened to reflect the kindness necessary in the role of the weathered old streamer. Either of these three distinguished voices would be excellent and the role of Mr. Muddler Minnow will go to whomever rises to the take first.
If the storyline follows as I intend, Clark (the steelhead fry from Olive Goes for a Wild Ride) will have a starring role in the film. Henry Winkler instantly emerged as my first choice to play the voice of Olive’s youthful companion. Mr. Winkler is clearly a passionate fly fisherman and his recently-released book, I’ve Never Met an Idiot on the River, points to his love of the sport. He also has a passion for kids books, so I’m confident he will see value in this project. Many people my age first knew Mr. Winkler from his Happy Days role as “The Fonz”, and assuming he’s not too busy with other projects, he will be perfect as the kind-hearted companion to Olive. Maybe Clark can even adopt the signature expression, “Aaaaeeeyyy!” Or maybe not. I’ll leave that up to Henry.
I’m still working on the voice assignments for the rest of the cast, but I’ve got an impressive pool of talents to choose from, including:
Nicholas Cage, Kevin Costner, Robert Duvall, Jane Fonda, Harrison Ford, Jake Gyllenhaal, Woody Harrelson, Michael Keaton, Jimmy Kimmel, Liam Neeson, Tom Skerritt, John Travolta, Robin Williams (can’t you just imagine him as Stan the Stimulator!?) and likely others who’ve not yet been determined.
Gilbert the Gold-Ribbed Hare’s Ear, Polly the Partridge and Orange, Stan the Stimulator, Andy the Adams, Randal the Royal Coachman, Sockeyed Jack…the list goes on.
If you know of some celebrities whose voices would lend themselves well to this project, please have them contact me. The only stipulation is that they must be avid fly angling folks, because those are the people who will bring passion to the project, just as they bring passion to the sport.
And while I’m at it, I should probably be looking for an executive producer. Mr. Redford, are you there?