On the Outlandishness of Outlander
Responding to the following:
“I need to mention that when I first heard about Outlander’s crazy concept, I thought that it was maybe just crazy enough to really work. But what impressed me was the Cast. When I tell people the concept they often react as if it can’t possibly be true, and then when you tell them who’s in it they step back and give it a second thought.”
We get a lot of that. Actually, what we get is the movie sounds so crazy that it has to be stupid or campy. So we just played it straight and tried to make everyone as human as possible. It seems to have worked, because as you noted, we got a lot of very fine actors. In fact, I can remember John Hurt telling us that when he first got the script, he did a bit of an eyeroll and figured this was going to be terrible. He had his wife (lovely woman) read it first. And somewhere in the first act she said “John – you have to read this. This is really good.” As you can imagine, that made me feel very good.
We seem to tackle subjects like that – we wrote a script about Amazons for Scarlett Johansson. Before they read it, everyone heard about it and thought – “Amazons… girls in skimpy outfits playing at swords. Sounds dumb.” But we played it straight and wrote something along the lines of Seven Samurai. Changed a lot of minds. In fact, Lion’s Gate just picked up the script and are moving forward on it aggressively.
We always figured you can write about anything, you just have to be true to what it is.