Dorothy Dunnett

Casting the Imaginary Film

This page is just a bit of fun! One of the most popular pastimes amongst Dunnett enthusiasts is to cast the various characters of Dorothy's book for the big screen. Of course we all have our own rules for this - whether we stick to actors who could play the parts now, or if we allow older actors at the relevant times in their careers, whether we want blue-eyed blondes for Lymond or allow wigs, dyes and contact lenses, and whether we want native Scots speakers or not. So just to keep the pot boiling here are my own choices and some of the most popular ones that I hear mentioned by others.

As far as I know Dorothy herself only ever mentioned two characters - Peter O'Toole for Lymond, and Colin Firth for Nicholas. She told me that neither of them really match her mental image of them but were the closest she'd seen.

As regards music for such a film there was a superb Scots musician who is sadly no longer with us - the fiddler Johnnie Cunningham who died in 2003. Only after his death did I learn that he was a Dunnett reader and had expressed an interest in writing something based on her work. His equally brilliant accordionist brother Phil would be my choice for the Scottish and sea-based scenes.

Lymond Chronicles

My Choices Other Popular Choices
Lymond Jason Connery, David McCallum, James Marsters Sting, Ewan McGregor, Steve MacIntosh, Jude Law
Philippa Kate Beckinsale, Felicity Kendal Anna Freil, Kate Winslett
Gabriel Rutger Hauer
Sybilla Wendy Hiller Annette Crosbie
Jerott Adrian Paul Robert Carlyle
Adam John Hannah
Kate Felicity Kendal
Richard Jonathan Frakes, Colin Firth
Marthe Peta Wilson Gwyneth Paltrow
Oonagh Any of the girls from The Corrs,
Nigella Lawson
Guzel Marina Sirtis
D de D Sian Philips
Will Scott
Watt Scott Ian Cuthbertson Sean Connery
Catherine Catherine Zeta Jones
Piero Strozzi Gerard Depardieu
Archie Patrick Stewart Ben Kingsley, Ian Holm
Salablanca Michael Dorn
Joleta Nicole Kidman
Chancellor Derek Jacobi, Kenneth Branagh
Mariotta Catherine Zeta Jones
Margaret Lennox Joan Collins

House of Niccolo

So far I either haven't really got a clear idea of casting for Nicholas and co. or I haven't found the right actors. I suspect I'm not alone in this as I've heard far fewer suggestions for this series. Maybe the characters of Lymond are more vivid to those of us who read that series first - it would be interesting to see what the people who read Nicholas first say about that. Anyway there's plenty of room on this list for new suggestions!

My Choices Other Popular Choices
Nicholas Clive Owen Ewan McGregor, Colin Firth, Liam Neeson, Ioan Gruffudd
Gelis Peta Wilson Natasha Richardson
Tobie Ian Bannen
Simon Michael York
Jordan de Riberac Charlton Heston,
Robbie Coltrane (who has said he'd like the part!)
Anselm Adorne Ian Richardson
Astorre Simon Callow
Fra Ludovico Anthony Hopkins
Pagano Doria
John le Grant


This site is designed, written, and maintained by Bill Marshall.
Readers may also be interested in my personal site at which contains more photographs of Scotland, and in the site for my web design business in Edinburgh or my search engine optimisation consultancy site.

Dorothy Dunnett Home Page - Biography - Paintings - Book News - Bibliography - Book Covers - Dunnett Links - Dunnett Places to Visit - Places to Visit in Europe - Questions to Dorothy - Scots Pronunciations - Mary Queen of Scots - Past News Items - Casting - Chess Game - 1999 Book Festival Talk - Background Reading - Scottish Links - Talks - Publishing News article - Edinburgh 2000 Gathering - Newsletters - DDRA AGM 2003 - Whispering Gallery - Fanfic