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Casting Call: Elliot Allagash

Seymour's mother is a speech therapist and altogether lovely person; though she and her son are close when the story begins, they've drifted apart by the time Elliot is done transforming Seymour. Molly Ringwald would make the beleaguered-mom role sympathetic.

At the outset of Elliot Allagash, the novel's narrator, Seymour Herson, is an ungainly eighth-grader at a Manhattan private school, with a new, horrible nickname, "Chunk-Style," that's threatening to stick. When he's befriended—sort of—by the new transfer, Elliot Allagash, Elliot functions as a sort of Svengali for Seymour, molding him into the most popular kid at school and destroying anyone who threatens that position, one by one. Four years later, he's undergone quite a transformation—and we could see Craig Roberts channeling both the awkward pre-Elliot Seymour and the outwardly cool post-Elliot Seymour.

Elliot Allagash himself is the heir to an outrageous fortune—one of his ancestors invented paper—and pretty closely fits the profile of a sociopath: he's cunning, manipulative, and charming when he needs to be, and he has little regard for the emotional consequences of his actions. (He makes clear to Seymour, before completely making him over, that he's doing it as a lark rather than out of any sense of loyalty to Seymour.) There's something prematurely world-weary about Dane DeHaan, and he's proven he can play creepy with his turn in Chronicle.

When Seymour is introduced to Elliot's father, Terry, he's given the choice of meeting him sober or drunk; when he chooses sober, Elliot counsels that they'd better get a move on, as it's almost four o'clock. Seymour's first impression? "Terry wore a red monogrammed bathrobe and held an unlit cigar." The Allagash apple doesn't fall far from the tree, and Terry is as bemused by Elliot as Elliot is by the rest of the world. We think Lance Henriksen could convincingly have spawned DeHaan.

"James is more than a driver," Elliot tells Seymour after asking his chauffeur-cum-personal-errand-man, James, to create an entire basketball league for Seymour to practice with so he'll make the team. Bob Einstein, who played surrogate Larry Middleman on Arrested Development, knows a thing or two about discretion.

Brainy Ashley is, at the beginning of Elliot's Seymour project, his primary competition for class president; she's foiled by an Allagash takedown and ends up in a mental hospital. Much later, Ashley becomes a love interest for Seymour—and his newly divided attention angers Elliot, who exposes all the terrible things he's spurred Seymour to do. We like Awkward.'s Ashley Rickards, who can make humiliation lovable.