30 October 2009

Outlander: The Movie III

Casting the Rest of the Characters

On Wednesday I picked up Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon, eager to hear the rest. I am currently studying the Revolutionary War and I am enthralled to read Outlander in America. With this in mind, I have decided to cast the remainder of the important characters. I am mainly focusing on the characters portrayed in the first novel of the series, except for Brianna Fraser, who is crucial in the story of Jamie and Claire—and simply because I think I know an actress who would play her well!

Liam Neeson (as seen in Rob Roy) would make an exceptional Dougal MacKenzie.

Tommy Flanagan (as seen in Braveheart) is currently in the A&E hit show Sons of Anarchy. His authentic Scottish accent and portrayal of a brooding and "hard-core" Scot would be ideal for the character of Murtagh.

Bernard Hill (as seen in Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers), known for his roles of leadership in film, would make an exceptional leader in the role of Colum MacKenzie.

Sarah Bolger played a young Mary Tudor in the Showtime drama The Tudors. She knows how to play an naive, yet somewhat conniving character full of untoward conviction. Her look and her portrayal reminds me of the young Loughaire MacKenzie who tried desperately to get rid of Claire, just as Mary Tudor tried (and succeeded inadvertently) to get rid of Anne Boleyn.

Natalie Dormer, Sarah Bolger's co-star, played Anne Boleyn in The Tudors. She also played the innocent virgin, Victoria, in Casanova. She is good at getting her way and being conniving, deceitful, and witchy all at once. In my opinion she would play an excellent Geillis Duncan. She can be a little scary, just like Geillis.

Jonathan Rhys Meyers, also on The Tudors as the infamous Henry VIII, can easily play the "bad boy", with his smoldering good looks and his command of the screen. He can easily play nice Frank Randall and evil Black Jack Randall.

Oliver Platt (as seen in Casanova) would make an excellent annoying Duke of Sandringham, with a high-pitched voice and a weasel-like attitude that is difficult to trust.

And lastly, I would cast Lily Cole as the 20-year-old Brianna Fraser. I have not seen her acting, but she looks the part with her long legs and tall-tale red hair, and will probably be more well-known after the premier of Dr. Parnassus in December of this year.

Outlander: The Movie II

Australian actress, Abbie Cornish, as seen in 2009 UK film Bright Star.

Casting Claire Randall Fraser

Now, Claire Randall is a more tricky character to cast, as I have found many actresses that look the part. So it will come down to this: can they play the part?

Claire Randall is one of those heroines that recall me back to my beloved Scarlett O’Hara. She is strong-willed, opinionated, forthright, stubborn, witty, and when it comes down to it, would kill or sacrifice herself for those she loves (although she isn’t nearly as selfish as Scarlett). She is a person whom one could only hope to emulate.

Abbie Cornish has played many roles, none of which completely emphasis her acting ability—in my opinion. She played Candy in Candy, which co-starred Heath Ledger in 2006. Unfortunately, I have yet to seen this movie—even though Heath is in it—but will probably see it at some point because Heath is in it! She also played a small role as Bess Throckmorton in Elizabeth: The Golden Age, which I have seen, but cannot recall Cornish’s acting. Although, she looks the part in the new film, Bright Star, I cannot suggest her due to my lack of knowledge in her acting ability.

BBC actress, Ruth Wilson, on the other hand,

stands out vividly in my mind with her role as
Jane Eyre, in the 2006 PBS production of Jane

Eyre. With a striking face that can be
considered either severe or beautiful, I believe
this English rose will easily be able to pull off
the huge role of Claire Randall Fraser. In my
opinion, and in the opinion of a devout Jane
Austen and Charlotte Bronte reader and film
fan, Ruth Wilson played the best Jane Eyre
out of the several other film adaptations (even
compared to the Timothy Dalton version).
She is well known in the BBC world and has
been quite successful in her acting career.

I suppose, talent does pay off!

Whomever takes on the role of Claire Randall Fraser has big shoes to fill. Most likely the role will be given to some little known actress or well-known stage actress, just as Vivien Leigh was casted as Scarlett O’Hara. Vivien Leigh will be forever known as Scarlett O’Hara, so too will be the actress casted as Claire Fraser.

Outlander: The Movie I

Casting James Alexander Malcolm Fraser

There have been many blogs and YouTube videos concerning the casting of the potential Outlander movie in 2011. When it comes to casting the main characters, which have been written with such unique detail—its hard to compare them to some known/unknown actor.

The young, over six foot, blazing red hair, wide-mouthed, deep blue eyed Jamie Fraser, seems to be the most difficult one to cast, and therefore, the one I’ll attempt to cast first. Who knows of a towering, red-haired Scot? Though, I’m sure there are many red headed Scots, the height criteria seems somewhat more difficult to cast. Luckily, the movie screen can easily make someone bigger than life and with some professional hair product, so can someone become red-headed.

So far, it seems that Gerard Butler overwhelmingly takes the casting choice; however, as many fans have pointed out, Butler is getting up there in years and by the time it is 2011, he may no longer look the part of the young, 23 year-old Fraser. There have also been suggestions of David Wenham (seen in Lord of the Rings), but he too isn’t as young as he once was and doesn’t quite fit the bill.

There is one dashing figure, I would consider and have rather become quite attached to as a Jamie Fraser, and that is UK actor, Jamie Thomas King. In the hit Showtime drama, The Tudors, King played the poet and accused lover of Anne Boleyn, Thomas Wyatt. A devastatingly dramatic, and genuinely handsome character, King’s acting ability was showcased exceptionally well. Although there have been few other TV shows or films to display his range of acting, Jamie Thomas King—in my mind’s eye—would make an exceptional Jamie Fraser.

The casting of Jamie Fraser is a tough one to pin down, and there are many opinions on who would be the best choice; yet there are still even more opinions on who should be cast as Claire Randall (Fraser), which I will explore in a later entry.

The Bookstore Fate

About a month ago, I was searching for a new historical fiction novel to dig my nose in during a less than eventful trip with my family to Bend. Innocently, I went to one of the online bookstore wedsites (as I often do before purchasing literature) to see if there were any new novels on my favorite eras—such as the Civil War, the American Revolution, and the Tudor reign. It was almost like destiny as I briefly read a synopsis on a series called Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. I had never heard of the series and was slightly intrigued.

So after a long evening at work, I ventured to the nearest bookstore. It is quiet and pleasantly peaceful in a bookstore thirty minutes before closing, surrounded by paper and hardback books filled with adventures and stories of people who have lived and died, while random stragglers pass between the aisles. The comfort of bookstores and the books themselves always bring me back to my childhood days, when I would sneak out of bed after the lights had extinguished and crouch before my nightlight with a creased old book in hand, or a notebook and pencil for the imagination of my own tales. It’s a comforting thing, when your favorite childhood memories—memories that shape you into who you are today—can envelope you in the most ordinary places, like a bookstore.

It was in this very bookstore, when I put down the Philippa Gregory novel I was debating on purchasing and picked up the book Outlander. I don’t know what compelled me—fate, or an inherent need to consume the words inside a book as though it were nourishment—but, as I headed out of the aisle to the cash register, I retraced my steps and picked up Dragonfly in Amber as well.

Since that fateful day at the bookstore, I have given into temptation to return for the next volume in the series. Now, I have realized many others have also fallen in love with Gabaldon’s tale of Jamie and Claire. So enthralled, I have even found myself buying gaelic song after gaelic song on iTunes.

I must admit that this new interest is nearly becoming one of obsession, as I find myself awake into the early morning hours still consumed in the story, spending rare moments online to view fan made videos and blog commentary on the series and the possible future film; so much so, that I have been keeping my own list of actors and actresses I could imagine playing the epic roles of Jamie, Claire, Murtagh, Dougal, and Jack Randall—even the Duke of Sandringham! Mildly pathetic, and in need to expel my literary ranting to anyone who’d listen, I result in the creation of this blog. So there you have it...a blog of an obsessive, fateful young woman whom relents into the temptation of novels.
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