effex: default (Heroine addict)
[personal profile] effex
So, as you might have noticed, I've been working on this project. It's pretty much the most ridiculous thing ever and I'm equally ridiculously invested. The working title is The PRINCESS Project and it is, basically, a Disney Princess modern crime drama AU.

Oh yes.

The Basics:

Because I feel like an impossible challenge, this 'fic' is going to be patterned after a 13 episode tv show (I'm thinking specifically of Better Off Ted, Leverage, and Flashforward... none of which are actually 13 episodes. Uh.) - an overarching storyline, smaller individual plots per episode, lots of character development, etc. It's basically wish fulfillment, the kind of story we never get - lots of women, lots of characters of color, lots of queerness and (hopefully) a realistic, respectful, clever, awesomely fun adventure.

It goes something like this: Jasmine's working at the Agrabah Embassy in DC and sneaking off to hang out with Al and Genie, who run a detective agency that's known for working miracles, when she can (much to her bodyguard's dismay). They fight crime! Soon the cases start hitting closer and closer to home - it's obvious that someone's gunning for the east coast elite. Someone like Maleficent, a mysterious figure with fingers in every (illegal) pie and a personal vendetta against DC Mayor Leah Rose.

Note: [personal profile] cimorene has been my partner in crime for the casting and development process - at least half the actors and back stories can be blamed attributed to her. Thank you, Cim!

The Casting:

*Jasmine [still working on full name] (Emanuelle Chriqui)*

Our central character! Princess of the small country of Agrabah (a constitutional monarchy) located on the northern coast of Africa. Working at the Agrabah embassy in Washington DC (and moonlighting at Genie and Al's agency) while figuring out what she wants to do with her life (aside from becoming queen, that is - that's inescapable).

*Ali 'Al' Hayak (Mika)*

Originally from Detroit. Al's parents died when he was young and he was shuffled around the foster system for years until, fed up, he ran away to New York at 15. He adapts well to living on the fringe (and is also blindingly lucky) and meets up with Genie (and Jasmine, sort of, in a series of events I'm still plotting out) shortly after his 20th birthday. They currently run a professional investigator agency in DC (it's a complicated series of events).

*Javid 'Genie' Vafazadeh (Saeid Ebrahimi as photo reference)*

We're still trying to find the right actor for Genie - any suggestions?

Genie's got a long history of being a miracle worker - the kind of guy you go to when you want your problems to go away. He's done a lot of things he's not proud of, but the complicated-series-of-events with Al have given him a fresh start. He's extensively tattooed - an intricate swirl of words and symbols picked out in shades of blue across his face and upper body (it makes being an effective detective... interesting). He calls them 'reminders' but never elaborates - although Al might know.

Jasmine and Al are dating at the start of the show and Genie's happy for them, he really is. She's good for him this is my totally unsubtle hint that Genie's totes in love with Al and there will be some relationship shenanigans going on.

*Rani Sengupta (Archie Panjabi)*

Jasmine's long suffering Chief of Security. She's a late addition (just realized there's no way Jasmine's being allowed to run around by herself in DC) and I know very little about her (except that her family's originally from the Bengal region, of course). Working on it! Also, she's the only character that I've genderswitched for this project - needed more women on the main cast (and it gave me an excuse to use Archie Panjabi).

*Mulan Fa (Michelle Krusiec) | Murphy Shuster (Aldis Hodge) | Shang Li (Sung Kang)*

Our requisite FBI team - Mulan and Murphy are partners, Shang's their boss. Mulan's family immigrated from Hong Kong in 1997, she studied law in college (trying to follow her father's footsteps), she still has no clear recollection on why she let herself be recruited into the FBI, and she's genderqueer. Murphy's a former army linguist, still trying to escape his army nickname ('Mushu' is neither funny nor clever), and fiercely protective of his partner. Shang's a good boss, if tough and conservative, and struggling with the fact that he's attracted to Mulan... when 'she' is presenting as 'he.'

*Peta Whitecloud (Q'Orianka Kilcher) | John Rolfe (Jonathan Bennett) | John Smith (Boyd Holbrook)*

Our requisite Police Detectives - Peta grew up in Browning, Montana, in the Blackfoot Nation. She married John Smith young (he, idk, had something to do with Indian Affairs), came to terms with her sexuality in college, divorced amicably, and set off to see the world (on her motorcycle). Eventually settled in DC and joined the police. Rolfe is her partner, a real sweetheart, and a total momma's boy (Cim believes he's going to marry a very nice dominatrix some day).

*Aurora Rose (Leven Rambin) | Mayor Leah Rose (Meryl Streep) | Phillip Seigfried (Matt Keeslar)*

Aurora is the talented, sheltered daughter of Leah Rose, Mayor of Washington DC. She's been raised in seclusion due to her Mother's (fully justifiable - Maleficent's made some pretty explicit threats) paranoia but now, after her 18th birthday, has been introduced to society and started college. Phillip is her voice tutor and a famous opera singer in his own right.

*Flora (Julie Walters) | Fauna (Zoe Wanamaker) | Merryweather (Megan Mullally)*

Rose's tutors. Won't have particularly large roles but we cast them anyway (look, we couldn't help ourselves).

*Isabelle 'Belle' [last name] (Mia Tyler) | Adam Bernard (Karl Urban) | Lior Rosenberg (Mark Sheppard) | Winston Cogsworth (Gareth David-Lloyd)*

Belle works at the Library of Congress with Winston and Lior, Adam is their scarred, paraplegic, incredibly cranky boss.

*Ariel Agar (Christina Hendricks) | Eric Andersen (Brendan Hines)*

Ariel's a coroner for the DCPD MPD, Eric is an assistant DA. They come from *ahem* different worlds.

*Tiana [last name] (Brandy Norwood) | Naveen [last name] (Shahid Kapur)*

Owners of 'Tiana's Place,' finest Cajun restaurant on the east coast and Jasmine+crew's favorite dining spot. Also serves a mean fish curry, but you have to know to ask.

*Blanca Ruiz - (Vanessa Hudgens) | Rex Prince (John Cho) | Hernando [last name] (Hector Elizondo)*

Oh man, this crew. Okay - Blanca's parents were famous Mexican actors who moved to LA when she was a kid. Her Mom died when she was young and her dad married a real witch - you know the story. She was irrationally jealous of Blanca and, when the younger woman set off to college, sent Hernando [last name] with her to ensure she'd be ruined (drugs, sex, and rock and roll, baby). It didn't work, Blanca won him over with the purity of her heart, etc. Fast forward a couple of years - Blanca's working PR for The Little People of America (or similar action group, I'm still researching), Hernando's watching out for her for her dad (who's long since kicked the Evil Stepmother to the curb), and Rex is her BFF (who she met through the local Young Gay Professionals Network. What does he do? No idea! But chances of him hooking up with Hernando are v. high). He's also adopted, raised by very wealthy, white, liberal intellectuals (you know the type), and struggling to reconcile his upbringing with his heritage (and shady international adoption practices).

Also Cim wants everyone to know that Blanca and Peta eventually fall in love and get married.

*Heloise 'Elle' [last name] (Allison Mack) | Eustice Francis Prince (Steven Strait)*

Elle's Mayor Rose's protege, Eustice is her (the mayor's) PA (he's also Rex's cousin - the whole family is terrible at naming children).

This is where things get meta - it's pretty much impossible to separate these next actors from their characters. But you know Tyra would act her heart out, so it's all good.

*Maleficent (Tyra Banks)*

Head of the criminal organization that bears her name, Maleficent is smart, competent, and utterly ruthless. No one knows her real name or history, very few have seen her face (and lived to talk about it).

The Ravens (J. Alexander and Jay Manuel) | The Business Man (Nigel Barker) | The Ninja (Benny Ninja) | The Goons (multiple)

Copypasta from Cim's notes: Right-hand and left-hand men Miss J. Alexander and Mr. Jay Manuel, partners (but is it romantic, or just creepily co-dependent? Maybe no one but Tyra knows.) Enforcer-Assassin Benny "The Ninja", known only as The Ninja to law enforcement (his real identity was never proven, but the murders stopped when he was coincidentally imprisoned on other charges).

Tyra runs drugs and illegal clubs and has a penchant for dangerous women as her low-level grunts, but among the mid (and low)-level known quantities are Nigel Barker, wealthy local businessman whose ties to crime no one can really prove. Twiggy, so called because she looks just like Twiggy and gets told so constantly, but is nicknamed "Twigs" by her colleagues; runs one of Tyra's more successful nightclubs. Paulina, ex-Russian mob rescued by Tyra, fiercely loyal and viciously unpredictable; a kind of lapdog, no particular job, just whatever Tyra wants. Janice, who mostly manages the drug operations. Doesn't do them herself, except coke at parties. Her drug of choice is alcohol, and she can drink everyone under the table. Heidi, who left DC a decade ago, possibly after a bad breakup with Tyra, and now cooperates with her out of LA, but periodically reappears in DC. Frenemies with lots of sexual tension. Li Ai, a debarred former lawyer with a drug problem who advises Tyra for a hefty fee and helps with extortion (Not a prodigy or genius, just a lawyer). Lisa, a wild daredevil and petty criminal known for talking to the voices in her head and waving a gun around with the safety off. They may eventually get in-character names.

Whew! There's more, of course - still have to figure out how Jafar, Abu, Iago, and Carpet (ETA: Well, just Iago. Abu is Al's cat, Carpet is Genie's dog. Solved!) fit in, not to mention the seven dwarfs, Yao, Ling, Chien-Po, Charlotte, Ray, Louis, Jack, Gus... But this is the main (and not so main) cast.

Note the second: any of this could change. It's likely, even.

Date: 2010-01-15 12:46 am (UTC)
copracat: Teyla smiling (teyla shiny)
From: [personal profile] copracat

This is pretty much the best thing I've seen today. 'Princess Project' is an AWESOME codename and I want to dance around my living room with glee. This is better than the Disney Princess vid to 'Cell Block Tango' which was my previous Disney Princess fan work high point. Tyra Banks as Maleficent is inspired.

Date: 2010-01-15 01:03 am (UTC)
harpers_child: melaka fray reading from "Tales of the Slayers". (Default)
From: [personal profile] harpers_child
would you happen to have a link for "Cell Block Tango"?

Oh, do I!

Date: 2010-01-15 01:26 am (UTC)
copracat: Modesty Blaise from the comic La Machine (princess)
From: [personal profile] copracat
Princesses version 1 (Jasmine is Pop)

Princesses version 2 (Ariel is Pop)

Disney Heroines

Female villains
Edited (changed icon to one more relevant!) Date: 2010-01-15 01:27 am (UTC)

Re: Oh, do I!

Date: 2010-01-15 04:17 pm (UTC)
harpers_child: melaka fray reading from "Tales of the Slayers". (Default)
From: [personal profile] harpers_child
i know what i'll be doing after work then.

Date: 2010-01-15 01:02 am (UTC)
scaramouche: Vocal Adrenaline glee club from Glee, with "Bring It" in text (glee bring it)
From: [personal profile] scaramouche
Holy moly, this sounds amazing and I am... invested. O.o

Date: 2010-01-15 01:03 am (UTC)
harpers_child: melaka fray reading from "Tales of the Slayers". (Default)
From: [personal profile] harpers_child
this is awesome and i can't wait to read more.

Date: 2010-01-15 01:32 am (UTC)
wishfulclicking: simba making the ooh face (simba says oooh)
From: [personal profile] wishfulclicking
This is so wonderful! Tyra and the rest of the ANTM crew as the evil group is pure genius. They also make me think of Kill Bill and the Crazy 88, I think they were called.

Love the actors you picked to represent the Disney people and how you carried over some of their conflicts. I had to think about who Aldis was but then I got it.

Will no Lion King be involved? Are all the stories going to be posted here?

Date: 2010-01-15 03:20 am (UTC)
wishfulclicking: man in black and white pulling back a curtain to show moving sky (Default)
From: [personal profile] wishfulclicking
All of this sounds awesome. That was so on me not picking up the Princess thing even after reading :)

I'm going to follow your journal now.

Date: 2010-01-15 03:46 am (UTC)
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (jane doe)
From: [personal profile] cimorene
We DID decide how Jafar fits in! He's the former Prime Minister of Agrabah, and tried to maneuver the Emir into marrying Jasmine to him! He's a creepy bad-touch kind of dude, too. I bet Raja was disappointed she never got the chance to break his wrist like she was planning. (Or maybe she did, in the denouement of that episode?) Perhaps her dad was persuaded to send her to DC more easily after that whole unfortunate business.

Also, you didn't even hint at the threesome in your summary! Have you changed your mind about it? Surely not!

Date: 2010-01-15 04:10 pm (UTC)
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (bend it like beckham)
From: [personal profile] cimorene
Did we say there was some kind of dwarves-drugs connection that got Blanca involved? Or what if she and Rex are having movie night when Eustice shows up on Rex's doorstep at the end of his tether and they squeeze [some of] the story out of him?

Date: 2010-01-15 06:11 am (UTC)
blushingflower: (Default)
From: [personal profile] blushingflower
Point the first:
This is genius and I love it.

Point the second:
There is no "DCPD" DC has like a gazillion police jurisdictions (including Capitol Police, US Park Police and Secret Service), but what you're thinking of is generally referred to as "MPD" (or, on their website "MPDC") for "Metropolitan Police Department". Which is tricksy, because there's also "Metro PD" as in "Metrorail/bus police". It's a little thing, but it's something we Washingtonians notice.

Point the third:
I must say I was initially skeptical when my roommate sent me the link, but I was squeeing with glee within seconds. Well done.

Date: 2010-01-15 07:49 pm (UTC)
blushingflower: (Default)
From: [personal profile] blushingflower
When you start getting more into your research, definitely feel free to shoot questions my way. I can't promise I'll know all (or even most) of the answers, but I know a lot of other people in the District and I can pick their brains too. You can either message me here on Dreamwidth or send me email at blushingflwr at gmail.

Date: 2010-01-15 06:36 am (UTC)
northern: JC Chasez's hand with some drawn-in-Photoshop colorful fire beneath it. (Default)
From: [personal profile] northern
This is fucking awesome.

Date: 2010-01-15 02:15 pm (UTC)
elspethdixon: (Default)
From: [personal profile] elspethdixon
The more I hear about this, the more I realize how desperately I need it in my life.

It's the perfect reconciliation of the needs/desires of my inner six-year-old (Disney Princesses! With pretty hair!) and my adult self (crime drama! Detectives! slash and femslash and Meryl Streep as the mayor!).

Date: 2010-01-15 04:12 pm (UTC)
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (princess)
From: [personal profile] cimorene
Plus, if her husband is actually dead in addition to the threats that's a better excuse to be completely and utterly PARANOID.

Date: 2010-01-15 09:19 pm (UTC)
dexwebster: Faye from Questionable Content: "We have a sneaky plan, just play along." (Default)
From: [personal profile] dexwebster
This is really amazing, and it's the small details of things that I love the most (Ariel and Eric's last names cracked me up, and I personally loved Mushu).

And I've gotta say, as another D.C. person (and the aforementioned roommate), the idea of Meryl Streep as the mayor of my city makes me so happy.

Date: 2010-01-20 01:55 pm (UTC)
zanzando: (pic#347834)
From: [personal profile] zanzando
I've been gleefully re-reading this post for awhile now, and I planned on doing a comment along the lines of: "I'm soooo looking forward to reading more about [insert character name], and [...] and [...]!", but then I realised that you can hardly expect me to *pick* from all of them! Seriously, *this* close to clapping my hands like a seal. <3 <3 <3

Date: 2010-03-15 11:20 pm (UTC)
hradzka: Cassidy, from Garth Ennis's PREACHER. (Default)
From: [personal profile] hradzka
This is gloriously insane and insanely glorious. I thought a prep school princess AU (which I'd been chatting about with a friend) would be good goofy fun, but this is on a whole new level, and it's remarkably ambitious. I'll be very interested to see how this progresses.
Edited Date: 2010-03-15 11:20 pm (UTC)


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