Diana Gabaldon’s extremely popular Outlander series is set to have16 episodes on Starz in 2014. Filming will begin in September in Scotland. I want to go and report on it live. Since that probably won’t happen, I’m as excited as any fan of the series to see who will be cast as Jamie and Claire.
How popular is this series? In every survey I’ve ever seen, Jamie and Claire have been in the top 5 most romantic couples. While Diana readily admits it’s not a “romance” in the definition of the genre, the romance of Claire and Jamie is undeniable. Since the series is ongoing, not every book ends “Happily ever after” but knowing there’s another book coming does soften the blow.
The biggest problem in going from book to movie (other than the screenplay) is casting the right actors for the parts. This has proven disastrous in some movies. One For the Money by Janet Evanovich made a definite wrong turn with Katherine Heigl as Stephanie Plum. Everyone knows Stephanie is a train wreck and Heigl couldn’t pull it off. She’s just too prissy for me. Now I know everyone had trouble with Tom Cruise playing Jack Reacher. He was a little height challenged for the part. Personally, I liked the movie as a movie, but Tom Cruise was not Jack Reacher to me. The same was true of Mercury Rising. The boy was supposed to be 14, but the actor was much younger. And Melanie Griffith in Shining Through was wrong on so many levels.
It has been officially announced that Sam Heughan ( a real life Scot) has been cast as Jamie Fraser. While he may not be known to many Americans, Diana Gabaldon has said, “Oh. My. God. That man is a Scot to the bone and Jamie Fraser to the heart. Having seen Sam Heughan not just act, but be Jamie, I feel immensely grateful to the production team for their painstaking attention to the soul of the story and characters.” Sounds good to me, but I wouldn’t have minded seeing Chris Hemsworth in another movie.
Claire is still unknown. Remember, in the first book Jamie is 22 and Claire, 28. I think Scarlett Johansson could carry it off. I also like Rachel Weize and Amy Adams even though they are a little old for the part. Preferably an unknown British actress might be best.
I just want it to be a good movie. One that I’ll want to watch more than once. I always try to keep an open mind because I’ve learned that I am not an expert at casting, but I know what I like in movies and when they represent a beloved book, they better hit the nail on the head.
Who do you like for the parts? Does it matter to you?
Bottom Line: Today is Free Slurppee Day at 7-Elevens!