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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Temptation of John Haynes Fantasy Casting

When I wrote my novel The Temptation of John Haynes back in 2005, I always saw it like a movie in my mind. And as I was imagining that movie in my head I saw certain actors playing the roles.

If I ever got the chance to make a Temptation of John Haynes movie, here’s who I’d like to see in the lead roles:

Michael Ealy as John Haynes I mulled over the Casting of John Haynes for years. Will Smith was too goofy and Cuba Gooding Jr…just wasn’t John. But  when I saw Michael Ealy playing Tea Cake in Their Eyes Were Watching God I looked up at the screen and said That’s John Haynes!

I believe Michael Ealy has the dark presence John Haynes has in the novel and I believe he has the range to play the complex role of a cerebral character like John Haynes. Based on what I’ve seen on Barbershop, Secrets & Lies and his portrayal of Dorian the android in Almost Human I believe Ealy could command the screen in a Temptation of John Haynes movie and could transition between the dark drama, surreal fantasy and nuanced comedy in the story.

Ealy has a great range and I believe he could give a very powerful performance as John Haynes. Could it be his breakthrough role? I believe it could be.   

Salli Richardson-Whitfield as E’steem When I created E’steem in 1995, I was inspired by Salli Richardson. And after watching her acting in films like How U Like Me Now, Posse, A Low Down Dirty Shame, I Will Follow and Pastor Brown, cartoons like Gargoyles, TV shows like Family Law, NYPD Blue, and Eureka and I know she could play the role and give the performance of her career.  

From what I’ve seen in her work Salli has an incredible acting range and I know she could give a powerful performance as E’steem. From the way she conveys emotion in her performances I know she could put layers and depth on the character and bring out the humanity in E’steem the she-demon struggling with reconciling with her troubled past as a demon while pondering her future as a human being. As it stands right now, Richardson is the only actress I believe could convey all the emotions of E’steem’s confrontation with Lucifer in Chapter 82 and the climax in chapter 102. I think E’steem could be Salli’s signature role and the one people would always remember her for.   

Keith David as Lucifer Whenever I wrote Lucifer’s narration in The Temptation of John Haynes I always heard Keith David’s voice as Lucifer. That deep baritone voice of his sounds so smooth and charming it was just like what The Devil would sound like.

Keith David is a burly and has an imposing presence that would be perfect for the Lord of Hell. Dressed in a tailored Italian red suit, black shirt and Stacy Adams shoes he’d look like a badass onscreen. And the Julliard trained actor has an amazing acting range that I believe would be perfect for playing a magnificent bastard like Lucifer. I believe Keith David would be fun to watch playing mind games with Salli Richardson’s E’steem and matching wits with Michael Ealy’s John Haynes. Like E’steem I believe Lucifer could be Keith David’s signature role if he got the chance to play it.

I believe Ealy, Richardson and David would have fantastic chemistry onscreen and elevate the source material I wrote back in 2005 with their performances. And I believe their performances would make The Temptation of John Haynes a movie that people would be talking about for years.

I’d love to make a Temptation of John Haynes movie. With dark gothic visuals similar to Tim Burton films like 1989’s Batman I believe it’d be a Black fantasy CLASSIC just like the book!

You can pick up The Temptation of John Haynes in paperback and eBook on

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