• “The smartest historical sci-fi adventure-romance story ever written by a science Ph.D. with a background in scripting 'Scrooge McDuck' comics.”—Salon.com
  • A time-hopping, continent-spanning salmagundi of genres.”
  • “These books have to be word-of-mouth books because they're too weird to describe to anybody.”
    —Jackie Cantor, Diana's first editor

Film Rumors

Well, evidently there was an article in yesterday’s New York Times, regarding (among other things) the possibility of Katherine Heigl playing Claire in a film version of OUTLANDER. It’s not like there haven’t been all kinds of rumors about everything you could imagine, over the last ten years or so–but this seems to have stirred up a lot of folk, many of whom asked me to post something on the matter.

Had a quick glance at several assorted articles on the subject (to which folk have been sending me links). All of said articles contain the usual amount of careless inaccuracy that you usually see. You really shouldn’t get excited about any details mentioned in that sort of piece–like “Scottish heroine,” for instance.

That said, I haven’t ever seen Ms. Heigl act, but would certainly extend her the courtesy of waiting to see.

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122 Responses »

  1. Hi, Sherri!

    Happy to meet you. [smile]

    In re civility on the web, what comes to mind is the admonition, "All that is necessary for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing."

    Hang in there!


  2. Dear Michelle–

    I'm sure Allan will be delighted to hear this! (It's his birthday today, so I passed on your kind remarks as a gift. [g])

    Perfectly true, what you say about unknown actors. The thing is, you (a production company) can do unknowns IF they have the money to mount the production by themselves. If not, and they're having to round up financing from outside entities, it's much easier for them to do that if they have a "bankable" star attached to the project. Or so I gather; my general ignorance of film production is profound.


  3. I've been following this and I have to say that its amusing to see how many insist Claire should be played by an English actress when she is in fact an English character in a Scottish/French/English/Carribean/American (did I forget any?) saga that was written by – forgive me if I'm wrong about you – an American author.

    I've thought about what I love about Jamie & Claire. Of course Jamie's a studly hunk and Claire's our heroine, but those are a dime a dozen. The way you bring their hearts to life is what makes them beloved and enduring. Like one of your commenters said, Hollywood can dye hair and trainers can buff bods. I don't know what I'm saying really, other than talent + heart can go a long way, and my best wishes to you & the others who are working to entertain the rest of us (-;

  4. Please NO anyone but her. I will be heartbroken if she's cast.
    Huge fan by the way and my first time posting. I don't know how many times I've passed my Outlander copy to my friends, it's all worn out. They're all converts now and really looking forward to more books :)

  5. I don't really know who this bird is so I'm not going to even worry.

    I so wish HBO would make an Outlander show about the books, and split each book into a season…like they did with True Blood :) It seems the only way to truly do these books justice. And look how hugely successful turning a book series into an HBO series has been… :)

  6. Kevin McKidd is who I see as Jamie too. Older Jamie, though. Since most of the books have older Jamie in them, it works for me. When I read Outlander or DIA, I just imagine some red headed guy. I don't think McKidd falls into the skinny (lankey?) category that I _think_ (I could be misremembering though) Herself has said Jamie looks like. But, like I said, works for me.

    One drawback of making a book into a TV show… many of the TV shows completely stray from the books. Legend of the Seeker is a great example of how The Powers That Be over a TV show can destroy the storyline.

    Many movies do this too, though. At the end of a book turned movie, I frequently find myself yelling at the screen, "But they left out the best/most important part!!!"

  7. No, I think Claire should be someone out of the u.s. from England. It has to feel real, and K H just doesn't , to me, have the taste level for such a passionate role. And the Jamie will be the hardest part. I would be picky with that one.
    And a HBO series does seem more realistic and practical. Though a movie could spawn from it later. The only thing is, is if it is HBO there will most likely be a explicit sex in it, which, in my opinion would detract from the story. I always find those scenes to be trashy.

  8. It could be a six part 2 hour long hbo series. That would be good…

  9. KH would not make a good Claire, for many of the reasons listed above. However, a couple of my friends and I have a suggestion…

    Henry Cavill = young Jamie?
    (google image him and pretend he's a redhead)

  10. OH, and I also like Kate Winslet as Claire.

  11. If I had my druthers – we'd see a wonderful BBC or HBO series on Outlander – how could you do the epics justice in any other manner? BUT if Hollywood is going to get their hands on the project, I would love to see Maggie Gyllenhal in the role. Just saw her in Nanny McPhee today and – she's Claire to a tee. First time I've felt that with any known actresses.

    Diana? What thinks you?
    Nancy in PDX

  12. @Anonymous- I thought the same thing when I saw Nanny McPhee! And certainly there must be a spot for Ewan McGregor somewhere in our pretend casting… (-;

  13. I just saw KH in "Life As We Know It." She was good!I don't understand why she is getting a beat up in this blog.

  14. Dear Sandra–

    Well, not from me, I assure you. But I do reiterate that I haven't a thing to say about casting–though if asked, I'll certainly tell the film folk what I think at that point.

    As for what I _do_ think [g], Maggie G's a fine actress, but she doesn't remind me of Claire at all. And while Kevin McKidd is likewise a lovely Scotsman, he's twenty years too old to play Jamie, so why keep suggesting him?


  15. Dear Diana,

    I love your comments about this whole movie matter, I agree SO MUCH about the whole Kevin McKidd thing and all the other stuff you said. Actually I'm glad that you said that McKidd IS TOO OLD. I'm so annoyed that people keep suggesting him ;) It's almost as if they want to see Kevin on screen and not Jamie.

    About the Heigl thing I've got to say that at least physically she could do it, I think. Of course she doesn't look anything like Claire in her real life, but that's why she is an actress: actors are paid to pretend to be somebody else – therefore we can expect that the film people would make her look like Claire if she ever played the role.
    I've only seen Heigl in comedy and Greys anatomy until now and I have no idea how she handles drama and that kind of stuff. But people continue to surprise you: If she should play Claire, I would definately give her a chance.

    Concerning Jamie: I think that Chris Hemsworth is (my) Jamie to the bone ;)


  16. This seems to be a rather decent scene of KH. No romantic comdey but yelling and drama.

    Just for the record: I'd prefer an all English Actress for the role (Kate Winslet, Emmy Blunt, Keira Knightley) but KH wouldn't be the worst choice.

  17. It would be a lovely idea to split the novels into hbo series. And I think this Allan Douglas fellow would probably do just fine, just because he isn't famous now doesn't mean he can't do the job, I think he has captured Jamie's spirit, I really do. I follow him on twitter and he seems like a really cool guy. As for Claire, I don't know, I think finding the right Jamie is more important, and Allan is it…

  18. @ Diana,
    See Nanny McPhee (or at least a clip online) and tell me if you couldn't be persuaded to reconsider Maggie G.

    I love the control we all can feel via this blog – maybe some studio execs are reading.

    for the record: I'll be MOST excited if they go with two people we haven't heard of previously and commit to a series / miniseries.

    Nancy in PDX

  19. I'm new to the Outlander series and I absolutely love them. Read all 7 books and the Outlandish Companion in the past month and can't wait for the 8th book.

    I agree with the NOs to Katherine Heigl as Claire. She's too…bubblegum. Kate Winslet or Rachel Weiz would be much better choices. And definitely Kevin McKidd as Jamie. He's got a look about him….fierce and strong, but gentle at the same time.

  20. Kevin McKidd would be perfect…he's Scottish, left handed, broke a bone in his right hand doing his own stunts, only 6 ft, but they can always make people taller in Hollywood; once worked in a whiskey distillery. He does love to sing and play the guitar…not really a Jamie trait, but he's still perfect for the part!

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