Monday, June 3, 2013

Is greenlighting Outlander as a series a good idea?

Yesterday, it was reported that Starz has officially greenlighted Outlander as a series.

My first response was, "Oh, my god."

So was my second. That's because I'm equal parts terrified and exhilarated by this news.

Jamie Fraser is, hands down, my favorite romantic hero in written word. I adore these books, even when they diverged from their original roots to stories and characters I care less about. That's all due to Jamie and my ongoing love for him. So my feelings about him? Pretty strong.

There are so many ways they can screw up casting him, it isn't even funny.

For those not in the know, Jamie is a giant of a redhead and Scottish to boot. This physicality is so married to the character, deviating from it in order to find someone who can actually act would be dangerous. But...they might if they can't find a good enough actor who fits the description. Producers do it all the time. And if they can't sell me on Jamie? There is no way they are going to sell me on the rest of it.

Don't get me wrong, I like Claire, but she's not the reason I kept going back to that world. I loved, loved, loved how Gabaldon reversed a lot of the familiar tropes with Jamie in the first book. It made him so completely real to me that it was effortless to fall in love with him.

My imagination is pretty damn good. I have my own idea of what Jamie is like, but the thing is, my sister--who loved the books even before I did--has her own idea, too, and it's very different to mine. For the longest time, she wanted Ewan McGregor to play Jamie, even though the only thing he probably has in common with him is the accent. The idea of McGregor in the role makes me shudder, That's not my Jamie.

And therein lies the producers biggest problem. Jamie has a lot of fans out there. They will never please all of them. Even trying to please some of them is going to be difficult.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed they find a way to do it. I want to love this series as much as I love the books.


Clare London said...

I'm afraid I'm still smarting from Hollywood ( or Tom Cruise himself) casting Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher - a fictional character who's well over 6 foot, blond, built like a brick s**thouse, ex-military police... I rest my case :)

Vivien Dean said...

Yeah, it's that kind of casting that has me so scared. Sometimes casting against physical type can work, but only if the physicality isn't such an important part of the character.