Holding Out For A Hero
By Christopher Rudolph
The last time we talked to author Perry Moore his first novel, Hero, was hitting the stands. Now that the breakout book is a hit, it's recently been released in paperback. Moore is currently busy finishing a new book on werewolves and producing the third Narnia movie, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, which is about to go into production in Australia. We caught up with Perry to chat about the Hero television series that is currently awaiting the green light, his new book, and what it's like to work shoulder to shoulder with comic book legend Stan Lee.
Out: So Perry, what have you been up to?
Perry Moore: We're about to start shooting the new Narnia movie (Voyage of the Dawn Treader). I got a new script today, and I have to go out there RIGHT after the Fourth of July, so I'm racing to finish my new book, which is about done. Which ironically it is not the sequel to Hero. I will do a sequel -- a second and a third book -- and we'll see if it gets picked up as a series at Showtime. I would love for you to urge your readers to write into Bob Greenblatt, president of Showtime. They have been wonderful. I feel so honored to be part of their programming. We were brought on early and Stan Lee came very early on, which is a dream come true for me.
Did you just have the script for Hero? Was anything ever shot?
We are waiting to find out. No one knows if they have a show at Showtime. We know we're at the top tier, but no one has a clue where we stand. We nailed the script, and it's really cast dependent, so I'm also really interested in your readers opinions on who should play who. I have dream people for Hal, the father, but for Thom and Goran it's wide open because I don't really know the younger generation and I would like to cast someone new and brave, the way we did with Narnia. I like casting a lot, I take full responsibility for Tilda Swinton in Narnia.
Who are some dream people you would want for the cast of Hero?
Hero is very personal for me, and without the superpowers it's very autobiographical. I learned a little something from C.S. Lewis: one is never talk down to audience, even if they're young. The best fantasy in allegory is based in reality. I always wanted to tell the story of my father and me. These two characters long to find their place in the universe. I always thought I didn't fit in because here I was a young gay athlete, and my dad's a Vietnam veteran, and he came back to a world he didn't believe he fit in. For the dad I would love to see someone like Dennis Quiad. For Ruth, who's one of my favorite characters, I would love to see Gena Rowlands, or anyone from Lily Tomlin to Jane Fonda. There are tons of great actressesI would love to see in that role, but I would love to hear what your readers think for casting. Have them write into my website, perrymoorestories.com with suggestions.
Were you surprised by the success of Hero?
No, I wasn't, but a lot of people were surprised that Narnia was a hit -- but I wasn't. I believe in the power of storytelling, and being raised in the south, my parents taught us very clearly that no one was put on God's green earth to sit in the back of the bus. So I took that to task with Hero. I wanted to write a story that had never been written before and I wanted to make the first gay superhero that was the star of his own show -- one who's not gay comic relief, who's not a victim, and as he recognizes who he is, he becomes more powerful.
How did you go about getting it published? Was it hard?
Surprisingly, it wasn't that hard. There was a bidding war because a couple of publishers wanted it. I was expecting a good old fashioned book burning. I have such respect for authors of young adult fiction because they influenced my life so much growing up. Literally, English teachers and librarians saved my life growing up. Being raised Christian and being gay I thought I was going to hell for who I was and these were people in stories that gave me faith otherwise. One of my proudest achievements was winning the LAMBDA award and also the American Librarian Association Award. It's a non-issue I think, for a lot of people. People have said it's nice that [being gay] is part of who Thom is, not the entirety of who he is. That which you think may alienate you, once you embrace it, may make you the most powerful being you are. You're a light on this earth that's meant to shine, and until you start shining you're not doing your job completely.