Monday, November 10, 2008

MOVIE NEWS UPDATE

I've been getting a number of enquiries, since press releases have started appearing about the movie production of OUTLANDER—excited folk asking "Is it true?" "When?" and (I hope you'll pardon a brief roll of the eyes here), "Who would you cast?" (I couldn't begin to guess how many thousands of times I've been asked that over the last twenty years.)

It's very early days as yet, but I'll answer what I can.

Yes, Essential Productions is developing OUTLANDER as a "major motion picture." (What that means is that they want to make a two-to-two-and-a-half hour feature film.)

And yes, Randall Wallace (the talented gentleman who wrote both BRAVEHEART and PEARL HARBOR—hey, ancient Scots and WWII, how about that?) is writing the script.

No, I have absolutely nothing to say about the casting of the movie. The production people do occasionally ask me what I think of this or that person, but this is simple politeness on their part.

No, I have no control whatever regarding the script.

No, I really don’t want to have anything personal to do with the development of the movie.

Why not? Well, two major reasons (putting aside the fact that producers seldom want the original writer sticking his or her oar in and causing trouble):

1. I have books to write and a family to be with. I can't be hopping planes every other week or dropping everything else at a moment's notice to do script adjustments. (I do know that all movie scripts go through many (many, many) iterations, rewrites, etc. in the process of development and filming.) That kind of thing eats your time and sucks your soul, and to no good end.

2. For nearly twenty years now, people have been saying to me, "Oh! I'm dying to see the movie of your books! But I want it to be just like it is in the book!" To which the only possible reply is, "Yeah? Which forty pages do you want to see?"

Obviously, a book of the size and complexity of OUTLANDER won't fit into a two-hour movie. But it might be possible for a good movie based on the book to exist.

Adaptations can be either good or bad—they're seldom indifferent—but a skilful adaptation is just as much a feat of skill as is writing an original book or script.

Yes, I could adapt the book myself. With the net result that even if a) no one then messed with the script (and they would; that's how film works), and b) the end result was wonderful (odds of about 900:1)—ten million people would still email me about, "But how could you leave out that scene?" Or "But why did you change this character?" Or "But you left out my favorite line in the whole book!"

I'd really rather write a new novel.

Now, do bear in mind a couple of things here:

1. Essential Productions have an option on the book. This means that they paid us a modest amount of money and we gave them a span of time, in which they can do anything they want to, in order to put together the necessary financing and logistics to make a movie (that includes hiring a scriptwriter).

We (my agents and I) get a lot of option requests. We decided to grant Essential Productions an option because we like them, we think they understand the book and its central characters, and insofar as such a thing is possible, we trust them to do their best to make it a great movie.

But it is an option.

2. Not all movies that are optioned actually get made. Even movies that have excellent scripts, A-list directors and recognizable stars don't always get made. Naturally, we hope this one will, because we do like the EP people and think that of all the producers who've approached us about the film rights, they have the best chance of succeeding in making a great movie.

But we'll all have to wait and see what happens next.

And that's all I can tell you.

Le meas,

--Diana

P.S. Well, I can also tell you that a) yes, Gerard Butler is a fine-looking specimen of Scottish manhood, even if he is a Lowlander, but b) I think he might have difficulty playing a 22-year-old virgin; c) Keira Knightley would probably make an excellent Claire (she has the accent and the capacity for sarcasm), if she gained forty pounds, but d) James McAvoy is probably a wonderful actor, but he's only 5'7", for heaven's sake. (Mind, none of the production people has mentioned any of these actors to me as serious casting prospects, either.)

103 comments:

  1. Dear Diana,
    Thanks for the update! You are so generous with news as always. I really hope that the production company makes a good job of it. It's a pretty tall order though, millions of fans to satisfy and the mass market to consider. On one hand, I'm very excited about this news. On the other, I would rather that the movie didn't exist, if the adaptation turned out to be mediocre. I guess we will have to wait and see!

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  2. Dear Diana,

    I am happy to see that Highlander will finally be made. When I wrote you earlier, we both agreed that Gerard Butler would make a great Jamie but of course if that part for him would have to have been years ago when he was much younger! At this stage, he's too old. YouTube has him as Jamie on several videos and tho great in the part, not practical now.
    I'm sure that who ever is chosen for the parts of Jamie & Claire, we'll all be happy just to see a wonderful book (s) turned into a great picture.

    sincerely,
    Camille Costanzo

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  3. Thank you, Diana! :hug: Sorry I rather hijacked your earlier post. There is already much speculation though on the board I mod and I wanted to know from you, rather than let the questions fly.

    I have to say though, I have such specific pictures in my head (as do, I'm sure, many, many *manymanymany* of your readers) I'm not sure I'd ever be happy with any actor they cast.

    I do have a feeling if this was only Outlander we're talking about, and not 20-30 years worth of 'living' with your characters as they've grown and evolved, I might not feel as adamant as I do.

    But time will tell, and I can only wait until more has been announced.

    Thanks again. :)

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  4. Thanks Diana for taking time from your busy life to clear up a few things. I would also point out that Outlander COULD be a great stand-alone story (which I think is how you originally crafted it), because there is a HEA that the movie crowd loves. I think a lot of the worry comes when your fans think of the entire scope of the books, which would be difficult, if not impossible, to compress into a movie. One movie at a time.

    Bedelia

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  5. Mel Gibson's only about 5'7", too, but ya wouldn't guess that when watching Braveheart!

    Keeping fingers crossed!

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  6. Diana,
    Thank you so much for taking your time to give us an update and explanation. I do like your 'PS' portion too! I would like to see it as an HBO mini-series, like John Adams. Well, we will take what we get. :)

    It will be interesting... to say the least! :)

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  7. Hopefully the movie will be made and released sometime in the near future. I understand all about scenes being left out and the movie's sometimes being no where near the real story. But as you said hopefully EP will do a good job. I love the Outlander series and I am just happy that you are writing more books. Thanks for the update.

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  8. Wow. I think I love you even more after reading that! I would quote the parts of your post that I loved most, but it would be the entire post.

    Thank you for being honest and thank you for not fearing your fans.

    -Julie

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  9. Loved this update. Outlander fans are going to be a tough bunch to please, so I wish them luck with this one. ;)

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  10. Dear Diana~

    This is one of those situations where it's best to be far away when "it" happens. Personally, I don't want to see O on film, maybe a mini series on HBO, but not a feature film. Oh, and with obscure actors in the lead.

    Keep writing, my friend. And thank you, always, for your wonderfully pragmatic approach to your fans' hysteria.

    Respectfully,

    Midge

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  11. I've seen the films this company has made and they do a very fine job. The key word to remember is ADAPTATION. I'll reserve any judgement until after I have seen the movie. I want the film to stand alone with the thought... was I entertained and did it catch the essence of the novel. I actually have seen movies I liked better than the book (though that would be next to impossible with the Outlander novel). I say you did the right thing in going for this project.

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  12. Thanks for sharing, Diana.

    I don't know how you manage to think so calmly about this. I'm thinking, "Oh, no! Keep away from Claire and Jamie you movie people!".

    Really, I don't know how you're doing it. Is it bad for me to hope they opt out? Am I awful?

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  13. Dear Lizzie--

    Actually, I spent all of BRAVEHEART cringing at the notion of Mel Gibson portraying the imposing (6'4") William Wallace.

    But that's neither here nor there, since luckily Mr. Gibson is _way_ too old for anyone even to suggest casting him as Jamie (people used to, right after BRAVEHEART, to my horror).

    But yes, he looked pretty dang short to me. You can indeed film actors to look relatively taller than they are, but it's harder to give a short guy the same sense of physical presence that a big guy has. _Vide_ Liam Neesen and the ever-present Mr. Butler. [g]

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  14. I think I prefer the Outlander movie that plays in my head. But I'd probably go see it anyway, and then spend weeks ranting about how they desecrated the book, which I do after every well-loved-book-made-into-a-movie!
    You seem very un-worried about it though, Diana - I'm not sure I'd have the fortitude necessary to let someone mess around with my 'baby'! :)

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  15. You know, one might think that a mini-series might work better for Outlander than a motion picture. But, I'm sure many people thought the same about The Mists of Avalon. And while the mini-series that was adapted for Mists was OK, there were some very critical points that were messed with. The first parts were all-right, but by the end of the mini-series, I would not have recognized it as having come from Marion Zimmer Bradley's book.

    I would say the script & adaptation are very critical to the success of the Outlander project.

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  16. No film adaptation will ever do Outlander justice.

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  17. Dear katrina--

    Well, um, yes, I do think the script and adaptation are critical to the success of the project. So are a number of other things, all of them outwith my control. So as I say, we'll all just wait and see what happens.

    It really isn't possible to guarantee the quality of a movie going in--after all, the people who spent millions making ISHTAR didn't go in _planning_ for it to be a bad movie.

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  18. If Claire were portrayed as an anorexic such as Kiera Knightley, I'd probably gag right there in the theatre. I love it that Claire is sexy but actually EATS. Rebecca Gayheart always comes to mind for Claire, but I don't actually know if she acts well. Looking forward to whatever we get!

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  19. I can completely understand why you would not choose to be directly involved with a movie version of your book, Outlander. Of course, we all have the movie going on in our heads while we're reading, and we each have a slightly different verion. It is very hard to stay true to books.

    Lord of the Rings was an absolutely excellent book series, and the movie is one of my favourites, but even it had to stray from the original book. Peter Jackson got many, many accolades for his production, but he also got a whole lot of criticism...and he wasn't even the author! Everyone's vision of that was also slightly different.

    Personally, I would look forward to a movie based on your books, but I certainly don't expect it to be a word for word translation: hence the word adaptation! I'm very excited, though. Thanks for keeping us posted!

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  20. Thanks for the update! I just came across an online announcement about this just yesterday and did indeed get rather excited about the possibility of seeing my favorite characters on the big screen. If the casting crew can indeed come up with an actor who would make the ideal Jamie, then I will gladly play the role of Claire. Who needs experience and acting skills?! Ive got the curls and the fat arse! :) Just wanting to do my part to help the movie be as incredible as the books.

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  21. Thank you for the update.
    I usually try to seperate movies based on books I like in my head so I can enjoy both as seperate entities. The only one that ever really annoyed me was The Lost World, because I thought the book was so good, and the movie was nothing like it. Every other one though, including the Potter series, LotR, and Narnia, I've been able to keep them seperate and enjoy them both. It doesn't mean I didn't note the differences, I just try to let them go if at all possible.

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  22. Kevin McKidd is the only Jamie Fraser.

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  23. HOW EXCITING!

    I would over-look Gerard Butler's age and totally suspend my disbelief if he were cast as Jamie!

    :) Terri

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  24. Hi Diana,

    I have a few questions that you may possibly be able to answer. Please ignore this if you can't!

    First - if it all works out and the movie gets made, will it be called Outlander?

    Second - If so, will it be called Outlander in countries like the UK, Australia, New Zealand, etc, where the first book is called Cross Stitch?

    And lastly - If so, would you and your publishers take the opportunity to issue a movie tie-in of the book under the name of Outlander in those countries or would you keep it as Cross Stitch?

    (And I have no idea why I'm so interested in this, LOL!)

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  25. Dear apteryx--

    No idea about titles.

    The assorted publishers would almost certainly issue a "movie tie-in" edition, because there are any number of cretins in the world who will buy a book _only_ because it's been made into a movie, and who can't visualize the characters without a photo of some actor.

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  26. That brings us right back to the discussion of redesigned covers, then, doesn't it? I can just see this: ECHO comes out in fall 2009, at which point they either issue it in a matching jewel-tone cover (amethyst with a caltrop on the front? <g>) or re-issue the whole series with new covers. And at some point after that (let's say, just for the sake of argument, a year later?) the movie comes out, and the publishers insist on issuing a special movie tie-in version of OUTLANDER with the actors playing Jamie and Claire on the cover. So much for the idea of matching covers, at that point, because it will then become very difficult for the average person to find a non-movie-tie-in version of the book.

    On the other hand, the Harry Potter books never changed their covers for any of the movies. That's an argument you might be able to use, to keep them from putting the actors' faces on the covers.

    Karen

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  27. Wow! Another person who uses the word 'cretin' in speech and not just when writing a novel! :bigcheesygrin:

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  28. David Tennant needs to be included as some character.

    He is The Doctor, after all.

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  29. Hummm. Kevin McKidd. Got the eyes and hair color. How tall is he? But Diana is correct, no matter what they do, tall men take up more space and it shows.
    =^..^=

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  30. I'm one of the least knowledgeable people in the world about actors & actresses. So I went and looked up pictures of a few of the names being tossed around.

    Keira Knightley doesn't really look anything like Claire in my mind.

    Rebecca Gayheart has eyes that remind me of Claire.

    The problem with both of them is that they are both too darn skinny! They both look like supermodels and although I picture Claire as a lovely woman it's not in the supermodel sort of way.

    I looked at photos of Kevin McKidd and Gerard Butler. Kevin McKidd more closely resembles Jamie than Gerard Butler. When I look at Gerard Butler I think he doesn't have that ruddy look of a red head. I know you can die the hair and do a lot with lighting but it wouldn't be a substitute for a natural. He might fit the bill for Dougal though...

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  31. Well, I loved Kevin McKidd in "ROME."

    On the other hand, not only is he short, he's even older than Gerard Butler. Remember that the Jamie of OUTLANDER is only 22!

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  32. Actually, Kevin McKidd is 4 years younger than Gerard Butler. That said, he is too old, just the right coloring. So the hunt goes on.
    =^..^=

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  33. Just a thought about the adaptation of books to movies:

    When the hype about THE DA VINCI CODE movie was rampant, I recall hearing Dan Brown's concerns on how to convey the narration of his book into the movie. A book _tells_ a story but a movie cannot _tell_ it in the same manner.

    It is a monumental task to re-narrate a book into movie-story telling form. It is critical, though, that it be done well and it wasn't necessarily done well in THE DA VINCI CODE movie. I totally accepted the plot adaptations made, but something intrinsic to the story was lost in translation and we ended up with a rather pedestrian movie.

    As we all know, Diana's Books are so vibrant and rich, the narration integral, and I would hate to see "O - The Movie" and have it be pedestrian.

    Midge

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  34. Dear Diana,
    Thank you for sharing your gifts with your fans, all of whom anxiously await the release of your newest "gift." I have to agree with those fans who prefer the Outlander playing in my head to anyone else's version. After listening to Davina's version of Jamie and Claire in all the books, it was difficult enough hearing a different Jamie voice in the Lord John books - seeing him on the big screen in a face I don't recognize would probably be an even bigger disappointment. Anyone would have a difficult time trying to bring such enormous characters to life - especially without your input. Please just keep writing and sharing your awesome gifts with us.
    Rita

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  35. Hey Diana!

    Well, I'm running a poll on my blog to choose actors. Right now, Kate Winslet is winning for Claire, and Kevin McKidd for Jamie, though there is also interest in Jensen Ackles, who I think would be excellent!!

    We all love your books.

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  36. Dear Diana,

    While I personally would love to see a movie that you were in on and stamped your approval on... I think it awesome that you would rather spend that time with your family.

    Either way I'm going to watch it

    Thanks for the story!

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  37. I am so torn on this. Jamie and Claire are such defining characters who are different people to each one of us.

    *sigh*

    I think the only way it would work for me is if, NEVER BEFORE seen actors were used. I would have a hard time over looking any well known actor and believing him or her to be Jamie and/or Claire.

    I totally agree with the woman who said HBO show!!!! I think it translates well with the Sookie Stackhouse novels and True Blood.

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  38. Thanks for the update, Diana. I so hope the movie comes to fruition. Since finding your series, the characters have become a part of my life, much to my surprise since these are the first books I have reread without ceasing.

    Maybe I'm an anomaly, but I seem to be able to adapt to different versions of Jamie and Claire within certain limits. I could see Gerard Butler, but I really embraced the image of Gabriel Aubrey as a young Jamie.

    Lately I've been listening to the audio books (obsessively) and find that Davina's voice is now a part of my life and I think of her voice when I visualize the characters. Perhaps the same will happen with the movie.

    I still prefer actors who have not reached mega celebrity status. Although Jeremy Irons and Huge Jackman would be welcome eye candy. :)

    And I think you are wise in your choices to stay out of the movie making business, especially since I selfishly want you to keep writing more of the Outlander series!

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  39. "Yeah? Which forty pages do you want to see?"

    ROFL!!!!!!!!!

    I do hope someone makes a movie - I am just curious now to see if they can pull something off that would be acceptable. I'm up for it.

    Judie

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  40. It is very difficult to make a movie out of such long story, that if you miss any part of it won't be the same.
    It needs a genius and love of the books, of the kind that made Lord of the Rings!
    Hope you'll get it.

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  41. a movie!
    wonder if the moviemakers would consider Robert Pattinson ?
    Edward from the Twilight movie-
    i was just thinking ,maybe he could be Jamie?

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  42. A movie? It sounds interesting, although it might be really difficult to adapt, since the book is so big, with so many lovely details. Something will have to be left out. :(

    But it would be great to see! It's a pity Gerard Butler is older than Jamie.

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  43. I pity the casting director on this movie. Casting Jamie is going to be verrrrra difficult. You want someone who can act, look the part and appeal to a wide range of people. Not to old, not to young, not to pretty, not to short and can carry off an Scottish accent. You want someone who has "chemistry" with the lead actress. In other words you want the real Jamie (who only exist in each of our imaginations). Plus the fact some film studios demand a "star" that will make money.
    I wanted to see The Duchess. In this area it ended up in an Art House theater(even with Keira Knightley in it). Still, all this being said, I really would like this movie to be made. I just want a very good movie BASED on the book.

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  44. Wow. You seem very calm about letting someone else muddle with your (excellent) writing. Is this something born completely out of self-preservation, or does it take maturity as a writer to "let go"?

    I still cringe when ever I hear about how someone has botched some of my training curriculum. Do you think it is different with fiction or novels that require a reader to bring it alive in their own minds and therefore have an individual "vision" of the story?

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  45. I am torn on whether I want to see a movie or not. I don't think Hollywood would do Outlander justice at all. Think "Gone With the Wind". The movie was horrible; I hated it. Most Stephen King movies are butchered variations of the books. The only large novel that has been done correctly (that I have seen) is "Lonesome Dove" by Larry McMurtry. It rocked!! I have actually been thinking that Outlander should become a TV series. There is enough going on in the books that we could have several seasons before tiring of it.

    And it makes me nervous that you have given up all rights to it for the movie. I agree that being with your family is more important, but Hollywood loves to take a vague idea and totally redo it. I don't think this will end well. Can I be in on it? ;) SOMEONE needs to censor those people!

    I'm sure if anything ever comes of it, the movie will be fine. Everybody knows the books are more important anyway. Can't wait for the new one! Just re-read all the others again. I loved "A Breath of Snow and Ashes." So beautiful. Thanks!

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  46. ok so by now we are on to the sequels, and we think, janey and i, that christian bale would be smoldering hot with red locks and his towering but gentle and very compelling brawn. pair him with kate winslet. dye her hair.

    omg.

    we're just sayin..

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  47. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  48. Look, guys. I haven't "given up all rights" (I still _own_ the movie rights, until the option is exercised, which means they pay me a good deal more money), nor am I indifferent to what happens. But I've done film options for a long time now; I know a) what the odds are of a movie actually being made (low), and b) the odds of the original writer's being able to "control" anything whatever (infinitesimal).

    Not being either self-destructive or an idiot, I don't choose to try to be "hands on," in the event that this does progress beyond an option.

    Nor did I say "Oh, I want to spend more time with my family." I _said_, "I'd rather (spend my limited time and energy) write(ing) a new novel." The family's always the first priority, no matter what I'm doing.

    But my time is much, much better spent in writing novels--over which I have absolute control, thanks very much [g]--than calling up movie producers and screaming, "How could you _do_ this?!?"

    Look. I know a lot of people in both the publishing and the film industry. I don't know one single writer who's thrilled with a movie made of his or her book, with the exception of John Irving, who was so displeased with what happened to OWEN MEANY (he exercised his contractual right to make them change the name of the film. I know this; his wife told me so over dinner at his house) that he decided that _he'd_ write the script next time.

    So he did. It took him fourteen years. Four separate producers. (He wrote a book about the process. I read it.) Was the movie the same as the book? Nope. All kinds of things had to be changed, left out, characters altered or combined, etc.--because a movie is a different medium.

    Now, the movie was a _success_--he won an Oscar for the screenplay. Was it worth the time and energy and the other novels he might have written in the meantime? You'd have to ask him that, I reckon.

    Did a lot of the people who loved the book write to berate him for changing things? I'll take money on it that they did.

    Me, I'm going to keep out of it. Bar JK Rowling (and just go look at the frothing at the mouth there is about the Harry Potter movies--over which she _did_ keep "control"), an original author has ZERO power actually to affect anything in a movie production.

    "Input," yes. As I say, the production people are very polite about asking my opinions, and I'm happy to give them--but there's no illusion on anyone's part that I have "control" over anything.

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  49. Thank you so much Diana, for sharing all of this and your perspective on it. I'm with those that wish we could see the whole series as a mini-series, but I'll still buy a ticket to see it in the theatre!

    I've always had Gerry as the 'Jamie in my head'. I understand the hair thing, though his hair had a reddish tint in Attila, I think he could pull it off. I also thought of Kevin McKidd, but the age issue is still a factor there, too. Even my mother, who has only read Outlander thus far, said Gerry doesn't have the height for that role. It probably will indeed need to be an unknown.

    I saw a suggestion on a message board somewhere that Lena Headey (from '300') be cast in the role of Claire. I think she'd be fantastic!

    ~Jenn~

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  50. Hello Diana,

    Thank you for sharing this information with us.

    If I was casting an Outlander film I would use two relatively unknown actors in the lead roles of Jamie and Claire. The money saved on salaries for stars could be used to enhance producrion values for costumes, weapons and location shooting, and script writing. I would also use strong character actors in the supporting roles. I would hope to convince a studio to let me bring the film in at a 3-3.5 hr. length, anything shorter would not do justice to the novel.

    I still think Outlander its sequels would work better as miniseries' especially if they did them in 10-12 hour lengths.

    Scott

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  51. I agree with Scott...despite my enthusiasm about the Christian Bale/Kate Winslett pairing...I think that using any well known actors for Claire & Jamie would be a mistake. Diana, your characters are so strong that their portrayals could be the making of very lucky unknowns. As for the film, this could be the beginning of a very long series of films...with complicated casting, over many many years...keeping my fingers crossed. That having been said, I am with you, lady, you just keep on writing and let the Hollywood types do their thing. You are an inspiration to me as a wannabe writer, your sense of humor has buoyed me through some hard times, and I've learned a lot from your podcasts and your prose and the generosity of your spirit as reflected in Claire's inner dialogue. Just take good care of yourself(diet coke and milky way bars, even dark ones, do not a good breakfast make) because I and all the people I have turned on to your books are counting on you to be around for a long time.

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  52. I read this post, and the comments with interest. But, I guess I have a "wait and see" attitude about an Outlander movie. I know that Anne McCaffrey's PERN books have been optioned numerous times over the past 40 years, and still...no movie.

    So, if Outlander actually makes it to the screen, fine. If not, fine. Options are great, but I'm not going to get excited until it's IN production.

    Except, Jamie is MY DH and I "am" Claire--in my head anyway. And, we are WAY to old to be cast in any old movie! LOL

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  53. Thank you, Diana, for the update. It's exciting news, even if it's still in the option stage.
    Can't wait to read Echo.

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  54. I think it would be interesting to see the interpretation of a good scriptwriter/director combination. Of course, I think I'd enjoy a cast of little-to-unknown actors...It would be really, really difficult to separate my mental images of Claire, Jamie, et. al. from other roles of the actors.

    And, honestly, the only semi-prominent role I can see Kiera Knightly as would be someone like Leoghaire, anway. :)

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  55. Dear Diana,

    I am so please to see your priorities remain true! The Outlander movie will no doubt be a lovely (or not so lovely) distraction if it is released to the big screen. It is not, however, what I am waiting for. I (and so many like me) are waiting anxiously and patiently for Echo and the weekend after Echo is released we will be waiting anxiously and patiently for the next installment in the Jamie and Claire Epic. (And now that I think of it, the other amazing novels that are waiting in line once the Jamie and Claire epic concludes.)

    No movie can replace a good book. Thank you for keeping your nose to the grind doing what we love best ... writing breathtaking novels that inspire and provide a great escape!!!

    Take Care,
    Jewell

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  56. Hey Diana and to all the others in this 'thread'.

    I just want to share my opinion about Jamie and Gerry Butler with you all.

    When I first read Outlander, I always pictured Gerry as Jamie. The funny thing is, that I didnt know who Gerry was at this point. So Jamie already looked like Gerry when I didnt even know that he exists. Thats why Gerry IS my personal Jamie. Not just because of his looks (ok, hes not 100% the Jamie described in the books) but after having watched hundrets and thousands of interviews etc with Gerry I knew definately that he is like Jamie is.
    Same kind of Humour, same charisma, same sparkle in the eyes, the same strenght...phew, I could go on and on ;)(Well, Ive got to say, thats only MY opinion, so dont bash me please ;) ).

    The other thing is that I think that Gerry couldnt have played the young Jamie when he was in his twenties. He didnt had this kind of 'wiseness' or 'expierience of life' in his eyes/face, like Jamie might have had.
    Thats also why I cant imagine a 23 year old playing the young Jamie, because Jamie went through so much in his life that sure marked him (well, it DID actually, but not only his back).
    I think he needs to look a bit mature.

    And the last thing is that Gerry does not really look like 39. And he can do so much with his face, I mean, watch some of his movies, he ALWAYS looks different. And actually, in PS I love you there was a sequence where he played a 24/25 year old one. So he is definately able to do this.IMO ;)

    But even if Gerry wont play Jamie, Im already looking forward to the movie, the pictures of the beautiful landscape, the costumes, the food, the castles and cottages...

    cheers! ;)

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  57. The beauty of a movie version of Outlander is that it will bring the story to those who haven't yet discovered the amazing characters and storytelling of Diana Gabaldon. This cannot be a bad thing.
    I am thinking the producers of a movie would do their best to represent the character descriptions in the original books, because there is such a huge and loyal fan base who will want to see the film as well.

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  58. I personally don't care what they put in or leave out, I just want to see the characters come off the pages.

    If you look at other major movie series, like harry potter and lord of the rings and such, of course they had to leave things out and whatnot. But the joy of these movies is not an exact play-by-play, it's seeing your imagination come to life. That is all I ask for.

    And on the Keira Knightly subject, god I hope they don't hire her for Claire. Claire needs to be an unknown actress. Keira does great, but she does a lot. I think it would really ruin the reality.

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  59. Diana- are you going to make an appearance in the movie, ala Stephen King? And if you did, what character would you play?

    Just wondering.

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  60. Dear Sunflowerfairy--

    That thought hadn't occurred to me. [g] Reckon I'll wait and see how things go before I decide.

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  61. I love the sketch of Claire and I had the idea earlier that Catherine Zeta Jones would make a good Claire though I am not sure she could do her justice or that anyone actually could. I agree that Gerard Butler would do Jamie well I think. I love your books and know a movie would not compare but it is exciting to think about.

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  62. I think in the end they'd need unknowns to play Claire and Jamie but maybe have a really strong Scottish and English supporting cast. Don’t ask me why but I always pictured Colum and Dougal MacKenzie as Rufus Sewell and Clive Owen… I know neither of them are Scottish but at least they’re British.

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  63. Dear Cao--

    I love Catherine Zeta-Jones, but again--too old. Claire's only 27 in OUTLANDER, and tough as she is, that's still pretty young.

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  64. I was just watching an episode of "The Tudors" and although a little skinny I thought Natalie Dormer could play Claire... She's certainly okay with nudity and steamy love scenes!! Then again, blonde she might be a better Geillis Duncan. Oh, the idea of this film gets me thinking... I can't watch anything without thinking of casting Outlander. And don't even get me started on what happens when I hear a Scottish brogue. Not that they'll be the same as the novels, nor is it 100% happening, but just the same it's exciting!

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  65. It will be sooo difficult to pick the perfect Jamie. There is one person that I want to recommend because he is close to what I envision in my head when I read the books.

    Gavin Rossdale. At first thought it seems weird, I know. A rock star? Mr. Gewn Stefani? But he actually has some acting experience under his belt. He played Balthazar in Constantine and he did wonderfuly. If you read his bio on IMDB you'll learn that he's tall, half Scottish (bing!), natural hair is red (bing bing!), and he could pull off a 22 year old better than some of the other recommended actors.

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  66. Dear Diana,

    I was just asking myself if any actors have been suggested by the movie company.

    And though she is way to old as well (42, I guess..) I always kind of pictured Sophie Marceau as Claire. I think that a woman like her would make a good Claire..

    And what do you think about Robert Pattinson for the young Jamie? He played Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and he was suggested in other threads.
    And though he is 'only' a footballer, there is a guy called Clemens Fritz, I think that he pretty much looks like the describtion of Jamie in the book. Google him if you like, but he looks better in action, sweaty and dirty (jummy) than on photos.

    And a other thing I always ask myself is if you also think that Jude Law would be perfect for Lord John Grey (the older one of course ;) ). He is almost the only suggestion for Lord John in all of the youtube videos and in the threads about actors. I would prefer him myself, but I would like to know how you think about this.

    Well, lots of questions (sorry for that ;) )

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  67. Dear Lisa--

    Umm...well, look. I understand that a lot of people think it's tremendous fun to make casting suggestions, and more power to you.

    For me...a) I know perfectly well that I have nothing at all to say about the casting of a movie, b) I don't watch TV and only see movies infrequently on DVD, so am not familiar with most of the people suggested, c) I _know_ what Jamie and Claire look like, and frankly, almost all the suggestions I hear are...um...far-fetched (YES, Gerard Butler is a nice-looking man. He'd be absurd as a 22-year-old virgin), and d)...there are literally thousands of you guys and only one of me. I literally can't respond to things like casting suggestions (other than to the ones that _everybody_ makes, like Gerard Butler); it's not like answering questions to which there _is_ an answer (like, "How do you organize research," or "Why did this character do _that_?"; I'm always happy to do that)--it's just chat, and while I truly do appreciate everybody's interest...I gotta book to write here.

    So you know--have fun. [g] And if and when I know anything concrete, I'll tell you.

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  68. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  69. Dear all,

    I've made up my mind. It took some time to formulate the thoughts, but I guess I came to a conclusion.

    The thing is, that I dont think that the actors have to fit as close as possible to the describtion.
    On one hand, it is simply not possible, and on the other hand, no actor can satisfy all of the Outlander Fans.

    What I think is way more important is that the actors can transport the feelings, the charisma and the personality the characters have.
    I mean, we all have our own Jamie in our mind, but what we ALL fell in Love with is his personality, his humor etc.
    So I dont want a model like Gabriel Aubry for jamies part, even if he may look very close like the described Jamie but its highly questionable that he could pull off a great acting performance (Maybe he has hidden acting talent, but...well ;) ). I dont want to see a a man standing around in the Highlands, just being beautiful and visually close to the book but with no personality and charisma.

    And like in the Harry Potter movies (Harry had blue eyes in the movie but green eyes in the book, and the green eyes have often been mentioned)I dont think its necessary to find someone who looks exactly like the describtions.
    Even this would disappoint fans, who might not like the look of the 'real' Jamie, I mean, its simply a matter of taste.

    As I said, in my opinion the look of the actors is secondary to the ability to transport the feeling that is created in the book.

    Yes, thats pretty much it, I guess ;)

    But another question, because I dont know much about this,
    is the budget a high budget?
    Or is it quite low? For me 10-40 million dollars is a lot, but I dont know what can be done with this.
    And what about the production company? Which other movies have they done in the past??
    Thats another thing thats intersting for me.

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  70. Dear Lisa--

    Yes, I'm much of your mind; acting is an art, as much as writing is--and physical appearance is _way_ secondary to the ability to embody a character's personality.

    I'm no expert, but I believe that's a medium-sized budget. [g] Movies with tons of special effects would be much more expensive, and so would historical costume-dramas that involve huge battles (like BRAVEHEART), but this is a fairly modest story, in terms of characters, settings, etc.

    The production company has actually changed its name (the original partners split up), but under its earlier name, produced the documentary "TRUMBO," which has been doing extremely well of late. I've seen it; it's an excellent movie. It has a number of well-known actors (including Liam Neeson), reading letters written by Dalton Trumbo, the famous screenwriter who was blacklisted during the infamous McCarthy Days. Much more fascinating than it sounds. [g]

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  71. I would like to wish Diana and her family and all in Gabaldon blogland a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

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  72. Dear Sharaf--

    Many thanks! And the same to all of you, your families, and friends!

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  73. Diana, sorry this is late but Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours and to everyone else here as well, and Happy Holidays to come.

    Black Friday finds me shopping on the internet :D I did the day after shopping once (Christmas, but still) and got clubbed by a woman with a very big, very heavy purse who wanted what I'd just picked up. Never again.

    Anyway, I just wondered if you check this site at all, Diana, because it's a wealth of information and I keep meaning to ask you but never remember to!

    http://www.electricscotland.com/history/america/nc/

    Right now, they're putting online an old book titled:
    Historical and Biographical, illustrative of the Principles of a portion of her Early Settlers by Rev. William Henry Foote (1846)

    Most of it is brief sketches and things but it's all centered on life in NC. Very fascinating.

    Anyway, hope everyone had a great turkey day!

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  74. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  75. Dear Diana,
    this is really exciting!

    I hope all goes well with the production of the movie. No movie based on a book can ever satisfy every reader, just because we are all so different. And (in my opinion) a book can very often give the reader a lot more than a movie can. But I think (and hope) the movie will be good (at least entertaining), considering the fact that the story is so amazing! (Then again a story can be ruined by bad acting. But thats a cuite different story.)

    I wish you all the best of luck.

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  76. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  77. i think eric dane would make a great jamie! if he could pull off the accent that is..he's sure as heck cute enough and tall enough! he actually kind of looks like the drawings!

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  78. Congrats on the movie makings. Gerard Butler would be a spectacular Jamie. If Hollywood can make Hobbits of men, they can turn Gerry Butler into a red haired 22 year old virgin. I would like to suggest Rachel Weisz (The Mummy) as a possible candidate for Claire. She has the accent and the eyes. I am sure she can be aged gracefully.
    Peace and Blessing in 2009

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  79. I agree with crisslass. Casting Jamie fraser is going to be an extremely tall order.I can't imagine anyone being perfect enough to fill his shoes.

    I am anxiously awaiting the next book in the series.

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  80. I agree with crissylass. Finding someone to play Jamie Fraser is going to be a pretty tall order. I can't imagine anyone perfect enough to fill his shoes.

    I am anxiously awaiting the next book in the series.

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  81. Dear Diana,it can be quite difficult for people accepting to see the characters from a book they love on screen because those never seem good enough. When you gave us Jamie, Claire and the rest, we took them and transformed them in our minds using our own literary background, our own fantasies and our own desires. A book has that advantage you see, whereas images are imposed on you, they leave less space for imagination. I know that the actor for the Jamie part has never been on screen before (at least I hope it very much). I will still go and see the film out of curiosity and I hope the people who are making it have at least read the book.

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  82. After just watching the first installment of PBS's Wuthering Heights, oh, how I could see the talented actor Tom Hardy play a red headed Jamie!! No matter that his W H character is gruff and vengeance striven, he COULD fill out the role of Jamie quite sweetly, if given the chance, and he's a fresh face, not an actor we've seen over and over. Oh, I wish you could have a say in casting!

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  83. At the moment I'm wondering how long it takes to find an author and actors after having sent out the script. According to the press the movie was supposed to be made in Spring this year. Now that Spring is coming closer and there haven't been any news about the movie since early November I fear that this whole thing is kind of 'frozen' now.
    Does anybody know anything about the proceedings? Or if the movie makers are at least still on it?

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  84. And though I guess that Diana might be annoyed by all the suggestions made (sorry if it does, Diana, but it's so much fun to talk about the possible cast ;))
    I just want to share a picture with you. I saw it and thought WOW.
    Its Robert Pattinson and in this picture he looks scruffy and sexy. Though he was not the first one wo came to my mind I think he could do a great jamie (hes got the age -22; he is qute tall - 6'1; he is very talented; he's got qut the looks without being such a wimp like some other suggestions)

    So look at this picture ( I hope the link works ;) ) because I was really impressed by it.
    Cheers

    http://s568.photobucket.com/albums/ss127/LisaPattinson/?action=view&current=abc2.jpg

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  85. Ooooh, yah, Lisa! I agree with you..that photo of Robert is very appealing!
    (I still think Tom could be Jamie, tho'!)
    It's fun to dream and speculate who will grace Jamie's very large presence perfectly.

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  86. Dear Diana,

    I was just distressed to read that there was another film recently made with the title 'Outlander' -- this one about vikings being invaded by aliens. I popped right over here and was relieved to read your entry on the only 'Outlander' film I have been waiting to see (yours.)

    This came hard on the heels of some other upsetting news -- a film called 'Amazon' has been written where an gladiatrix avenges her homeland and goes up against an entire army. (And Scarlet Johansson may well be a very nice girl but she is hardly my idea -- or hers apparently -- of an Amazon.) This same screenplay (title included) has been sitting in the left file drawer of my desk for the past eight years. Now, I know it's a coincidence, and I know that it wasn't a very original concept or title to begin with but I wanted to know how you feel about titles or ideas for other works that may overlap yours especially when your book and success preceded it.

    Cheers and Much Long-Lived Admiration,

    Lauren Buck

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  87. Kevin McKidd - he's all I think about when I read Outlander. Although older..he would be a perfect Jamie. I can see Gerrad Butler as Dougal but I have a harder time with Kiera Knightly as Claire.

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  88. Alex Kingston would make the most amazing Claire... once they reached the Voyager movie they wouldn't have to make her look young as well.

    Gerard Butler should definitely be in the movie, but maybe not as Jamie, perhaps as Dougal?

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  91. OI! Ok, I just found the PERFECT Claire! I compared a portrait of her to the Graphic Novel Picture of Claire and they are almost identical! OMG, I'm so thrilled right now...
    check this link out, I've put both of the pictures in it so you can compare them...


    http://s568.photobucket.com/albums/ss127/LisaPattinson/?action=view&current=nadiafaresry0.jpg

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  92. Diana,
    I am a die-hard "Outlander" fan. And I REALLY love Gerard Butler... but I have to side with you on that one. He's too old... maybe Dougal? Mmm.... My vote is still for Keira Knightley as Claire, despite her exceptional thinness. I recently saw "The Duchess" and I was convinced of her talent.
    How about this... Cate Blanchett as Geillie. Eh? Geillie WAS supposed to be in her 30's when she met Claire in "Outlander", correct?

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  93. Does anyone know anything new about the project??? I'm afraid that the movie wont happen after all...

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  94. Just wanted to say that I LOVE LOVE LOVE your books! I find that I can get so lost in them that I sometimes forget to put the one I'm reading down to sleep, and often find myself checking the clock and finding out that it's 4 am and I've been reading for hours and have 2 hours to sleep before I have to go to work! As for making a movie, I'd love to see it, but my imagination has Kevin McKidd playing Jamie right now (of course I'm only on The Firey Cross), and my brain would be so disappointed to see someone else. Either way, I love the books so far and love to get lost in them! Thank you for writing them!

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  95. I ADORE the Outlander books... and completely see why you'd rather not be involved in the movies as much as you could be. You could never please everyone with a movie... My thought is I love what HBO can do for a book series (ex/ Sookie Stackhouse books)... they could do a whole season or just a mini-series (Outlander is the one that NEEDS to be made!) of Outlander and not need to make it 'pg' the way a normal tv mini-series would have to. I really hope HBO somehow can manage to get their hands on the rights... I don't know how that works, maybe Essential can team up with them somehow?! But that would be my dream... an HBO series or mini-series...

    As for casting... gosh that would be hard. I can think of no one to play Jaimie but I'd be accepting to whoever tried. I think of Rachel McAdams (Time Travelers Wife, The Notebook) or Rachel Weisz for Claire. And I think Jason Isaacs (bad guy from The Patriot) would be perfect for both Frank and Jonathan Randall (Always thought it would be fun for the same actor to play those characters as they look so much alike).

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  96. I was never so surprised as when I saw an ad on Amazon.com, that Jaime and Claire were back! Her supposed "last" book was very good, as usual, but now the story continued. And now, a very hopefully a movie in the works. Your fans are with you, Diana.

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  97. I would think that the person who plays Claire needs to be more filled out, (she was a physician more devoted to her family than someone trying to get a Grammy from it. As for Jamie, he should be an actor from Scotland. A Scots accent is very difficult to replicate, as I always get a Scots accent and an Irish accent confused, and people will know. In my best wish for the movie, would a Scotsman during a war, when Claire shows up 300 years later.

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  98. Does anyone know if there is new information floating about in the process of this film being made? I have loved all of the books in the series and I am studying costume design and making in London right now--looking to volunteer to work on the film, and nothing would be better than working on this series! But there is no production information/development to be found which is relatively current. I would think if it is due for a 2011 release, there would be more press, right? Any help would be appreciated.
    Cheers,
    Michelle

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  101. If they can adapt the Tolkien novels into a trifecta of movie bliss. They can do the same with Outlander. It certainly deserves to be given the best possible forum to get the story told. And only relative unknowns should play these absolutely unique characters, Jamie and Claire.

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  102. I just saw the 4th installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean and saw an actor that looked very similar to the picture that was drawn in the illustrated version of Outlander. His name is Sam Claflin. He is tall, well built and perfect (in my opinion) for the part of Jamie. Go see him in the movie and you will agree.

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