Ronald D. Moore to Adapt Outlander series for TV


Nowhere Man
Dec 14, 2010
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EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures TV has closed a deal for the rights to Outlander, Diana Gabaldon’s bestselling fantasy/romance/adventure series of books. Battlestar Galactica developer/executive producer Ron Moore will write the series adaptation, with Jim Kohlberg’s Story Mining and Supply Co producing. The project will be taken to cable networks this week.

The book series starts off in 1945 and follows Claire, a married WWII combat nurse who accidentally steps back in time to the Scottish Highlands of 1743. Catapulted without warning into the intrigues of lairds and spies that send her on the run and threaten her life she is forced to marry Jamie, a gallant and passionate young Scots warrior, igniting a passionate love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire… and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives. The seven-book series has sold over 20 million copies. An eighth novel is slated to come out next year. The books have developed passionate fan following, with multiple companies running “Jamie and Claire” tours of Scotland, where they visit locations from the books.

I haven't read the books and the premise doesn't sound that interesting, but with Moore's involvement, I am looking forward to see how this turns out.
Story really doesn't sound terribly appealing.... Hope Moore can make it so.

Still pissed 17th Precinct didn't happen.
You aren't the only one Sawyer. I've been trying to find the pilot they filmed forever now
Landed at Starz

On one hand, love RDM and Starz can use a creative mind like his to go along with Steven S. DeKnight. On the other, this still doesn't sound interesting to me.

Then again, he made a reboot of a campy '70s Star Wars ripoff into one of the best shows I've ever seen, so who knows...
Great that it was acquired by a network. The plot still doesn't excite me, but I do admit that I'm a bit intrigued by the time‐travel premise. Interested to see how this turns out.
I'm just delighted that Moore is finally working on a post-BSG project after having been shopping a lot of projects around and ultimately some went further than others, like 17th Precinct but it still didn't get picked up, so can't wait for him to be able to use his magic again. It's been sorely missed these past few years.
When I first heard of this I thought it was based on the 2008 movie outlander. Which would of been awesome this not so much.
Ron Moore’s ‘Outlander’ Series Adaptation For Starz Sets Up Writing Staff

Outlander, Diana Gabaldon’s bestselling fantasy/romance/adventure series of books, is slowly inching to the screen. No greenlight from Starz yet, but I’ve learned that the project has opened a writers room, with Battlestar Galactica developer Ron Moore, who is spearheading the drama series adaptation, hiring four writers to work with him. The move indicates that Starz is contemplating a potential straight to series order for Outlander, a route the pay cable network has taken with most of its original series. Joining Moore on Outlander are two writers who have worked with him before, Battlestar alumna Toni Graphia and Caprica‘s Matt Roberts, along with veteran showruner Ira Behr (Alphas, The 4400) and Anne Kenney (LA Law, Switched At Birth).

Outlander spans the genres of romance, science fiction, history, and adventure. It follows Claire, a married WWII combat nurse, who mistakenly steps back in time to year 1743 where she is immediately thrown into an unknown world of adventure that sends her on the run and threatens her life. When Claire is forced to marry Jamie, a chivalrous and romantic young Scottish warrior, it ignites a passionate affair that tears Claire’s heart between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives. Sony Pictures TV acquired the rights to the books last summer and attached Moore, who is under an overall deal at the studio, to develop and write a series targeted for cable networks. The project landed at Starz in November, with Jim Kohlberg’s Story Mining and Supply Co producing.
It has received a series order, consists of 16 (!) episodes instead of the usual 8 or 10 of Starz's shows.

I’ve learned that Starz has given a series order to Outlander, a drama based on Diana Gabaldon’s bestselling fantasy/romance/adventure series of books. I hear the project, from Battlestar Galactica developer Ron Moore and Sony Pictures TV, has received a 16-episode order, with production slated to begin in October in Scotland where the books are set. I hear Gabaldon let the news of the greenlight slip at Book Expo America 2013. The news comes a month after Outlander opened a writers room, with Moore hiring four scribes to work with him — Toni Graphia, Matt Roberts, Ira Behr and Anne Kenney. This marks Sony’s first series for Starz.

Damn, I knew the series was popular but not in a 20 millions copies sold worldwide way, that ain't bad at all, also it's good that they'll be shooting in Scotland where the series are set.
Starz means they can do sex and nudity.

All the good creators are going to cable and premium now folks. David Goyer says the experience and support he's gotten for Da Vinci's Demons has put him off network TV for good.

It is too bad Legend of the Seeker/Sword of Truth didn't get on Starz, it might've lasted longer.
Starz’s ‘Outlander’ Series Casts Sam Heughan As Lead

UPDATE, 3:50 PM: In the past 30 minutes Starz has taken down the tweet announcing Heughan as Jamie Fraser in the TV adaptation of the Outlander series. Will update as further developments occur.

PREVIOUS, 3:15 PM: Sam Heughan has been cast in the lead role of Jamie Fraser in Starz’s adaptation of Outlander, announced the cable channel today via Twitter. “It’s #FollowFriday here at #STARZ. Follow Sam Heughan (@Heughan) who will play the role of Jamie Fraser in #OutlanderSTARZ. #FF,” said the tweet from the official Starz Network account. Heughan has appeared in the 2007 TV movie A Very British Sex Scandal as well as in the BBC series Doctors back in 2009, among other roles. The Scottish actor is repped by UTA. Mixing romance, science fiction, history, and adventure, the seven-book Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon has sold 20 million copies worldwide. It tells the story of Claire Randall, a WWII combat nurse who leaves her husband Frank behind when she suddenly ends up in 1743. In the novels, Claire marries Jamie, a young Scottish warrior whose dislocated arm she fixes soon after finding herself transported back by centuries. As officially announced on June 25, Starz has ordered 16 episodes of the series from Battlestar Galactica alum Ron Moore. Sony Pictures TV is producing the series with Tall Ship Productions, Story Mining and Supply Company and Left Bank Productions. Outlander the series is set to start filming in Scotland this fall and expected to debut on Starz next year.

The series has Claire marry Jamie under distress to save herself from a torturer. Torn between her husband in 1945 and Jamie, the series chronicles Claire’s attempt to make a new life for herself. An eighth novel in the series is scheduled to come out on March 25, 2014.
Never heard of him.
Tobias Menzies Cast In Starz’s ‘Outlander’

Tobias Menzies (Game Of Thrones) has landed a co-starring role in Starz‘s upcoming Outlander, a Ron Moore series based on Diana Gabaldon’s best-selling books. Outlander follows the story of Claire Randall, a married combat nurse from 1945 who is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743, where she is immediately thrown into an unknown world where her life is threatened. When she is forced to marry Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan), a chivalrous and romantic young Scottish warrior, a passionate affair is ignited that tears Claire’s heart between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives. Menzies will play Claire’s 20th century husband Frank Randall, a professional historian with a deep interest in the 18th century and his own genealogy. He also will play Jonathan “Black Jack” Randall, Frank’s ancestor from the 18th century, a Captain in the English Army posted into Scotland during a time when rebellion was rife. He is repped by Paradigm and Conway Van Gelder Grant in the UK.
Lets just hope they never show one of his weddings... [/obligatory Game of Thrones joke]
Actors from Rome/GOT is always a good thing, so :up:. I'm still excited over the prospect that it'll get 16 episodes, can't complain at all considering RDM's involvement.
John Dahl To Direct First Two Episodes Of Starz’s ‘Outlander’ Series

John Dahl has signed on to helm the opening two episodes of Starz‘s upcoming Outlander, a Ron Moore series based on Diana Gabaldon’s best-selling books. Outlander follows the story of Claire Randall, a married combat nurse from 1945 who is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743, where she is immediately thrown into an unknown world where her life is threatened. When she is forced to marry Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan), a chivalrous and romantic young Scottish warrior, a passionate affair is ignited that tears Claire’s heart between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives. Dahl, repped by UTA and Brillstein, started off in features, directing such films as Rounders and Unforgettable, before segueing to episodic television. His recent credits include Dexter, Ray Donovan, Hannibal, The Americans, Person Of Interest, Justified and Homeland.
Caitriona Balfe Gets The Lead In Starz’s ‘Outlander’

After a very lengthy search and multiple screen tests, Starz and Sony TV have found their Claire. Irish actress Caitriona Balfe (Now You See Me) has landed the lead in Outlander, a Ron Moore series based on Diana Gabaldon’s best-selling books. It follows the story of Claire Randall (Balfe), a married combat nurse from 1945 who is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743. When she is forced to marry Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan), a chivalrous and romantic young Scottish warrior, a passionate affair is ignited that tears Claire’s heart between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives. “Hard to believe lightning can strike twice, but it surely did,” Gabaldon said. “The moment Caitriona Balfe came on screen, I sat up straight and said, ‘There she is!’ She and Sam Heughan absolutely lit up the screen with fireworks.” Added Moore, “The casting of Claire Randall was a long and difficult one because the role is so crucial to the success of our show. Outlander is told from Claire’s point of view and we experience the entire story through her eyes, so it was vital that we find exactly the right actor to play her. Caitriona wasn’t on anyone’s radar, she wasn’t on any list, but when we saw her audition tape, we immediately knew she was someone special. Then, after we had her read with Sam, we knew we’d found our Claire.”
lol typical fangirl responses online... "WTF he doesn't look like the idealized version I had in my head, I don't even know if I want to watch thiisssssssss." :o
TCA: “They Want To Lick Him”, Author Of Starz’s ‘Outlander’ Says Of Fans And Her Hero

Obsessive fans of the wildly popular time travel romance Outlander may notice/object to Starz‘s adaptation’s different opening in the thick of World War II, but author Diana Gabaldon approved of the change, she told TV critics at Winter TV Press Tour 2014.

Exec producer Ron Moore won her over with his argument that the show should open with heroine Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe) serving as a nurse in a field hospital. “It shows her being the competent and resilient person that she is.” Gabaldon said.

The Outlander series spans the genres of romance, science fiction, history and adventure in one epic tale. It follows the story of Claire Randall, a married combat nurse from 1945 who is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743 where she is immediately thrown into an unknown world where her life is threatened. She is forced to marry Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) a young Scottish warrior, and a passionate affair is ignited that tears Claire’s heart between two vastly different men.

Anyway, TV critics didn’t bat an eye over that change. There was, however, a certain amount of heated back and forth about a scene in the book in which Claire, now time traveled back a few centuries, is beaten by love interest Jaime.

One TV critic described it as Jaime “beating the crap” out of Claire. Gabaldon, however, insisted, he merely “spanks her bottom with his sword belt and she doesn’t like it.” Moore, meanwhile, weighed in in defense of Jaimie: “Everybody was in mortal danger due to something she did specifically — in Jamie’s world, there’s a cost to that.”

Anyway, kilted Moore said, “It’s in the book and it’s in the show,” acknowledging “It’s certainly an explosive scene. “It’s a shocking moment, but its an important part of the development of the characters and we’re going to go for it.”

One male TV critic wondered if the book had any male fans. Moore said men have confessed to him their wives introduced them to the book and got them hooked, adding “I think the show will be the same.” Gabaldon insisted the show was big with men, “but they tend not to stand out on the streets with signs and T-shirts.”

The critic wondered what has caused this “insanity” among females. “I”m tempted to point to him,” Gabaldon said, pointing to the kilted Heughan. “It’s Jamie, rather than Sam,” she clarified.”He is the focus. It’s the entire story. They love Claire, they identify with Clarie, they want to be Claire. But they want to lick him.”
'Outlander's' Ron Moore Will Adapt But Stay Loyal to the Book Series
12:45 PM PST 1/10/2014 by Lesley Goldberg

Author Diana Gabaldon will also make a cameo in the upcoming drama series set for summer on Starz.

Outlander showrunner Ron Moore vowed that he will adapt but ultimately remain loyal to the best-selling book series. The producer told reporters Friday at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour.

The drama revolves around Fraser (Sam Heughan), who ignites a passionate affair with Caitriona Balfe's Claire, a married combat nurse from 1945 who is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743 and thrown into an unknown world where her life is threatened. Claire is pulled between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives. The series is based on the epic book series by Diana Gabaldon, who also serves as an executive producer.

"My job is to interpret and develop it for another audience," Battlestar Galactica alum Moore said. "My role is not reinventing but adapting it. … There is an audience for it and a dedicated fan base who have read these for years. … I take that obligation seriously. I want to give them their story, but I have to translate it and tell a story."

Moore noted that the writers start with the specific events in the book and then determine which scenes they can pull from. They examine what does and doesn't play and look at what needs to be changed and what could have happened but isn't included in the books. Ultimately though, Moore said the production takes "great pains to get back to where the book is because that's our job."

The showrunner noted that the plan so far is to do one book per season, though he's taking a wait-and-see approach to how things pan out. After Moore read the books, he looked into acquiring the rights and found that there was an attempt to bring Outlander to the big screen. "I read it, and my immediate take was it's a TV show. I didn't understand what the two-hour version of this was," he said. "When we sought out the rights, they were trying to develop a feature but couldn't make it work … it's too big. [Outlander is] about the world and taking your time with the story, and you could only do that with a series."

For her part, Gabaldon said she's had a great experience working with Moore, who discovered the books after both his producing partner and wife read them and suggested he take a look. "TV is different, and to do a literal translation wouldn't be a good TV show," she noted. "Ron and his partner came out to talk to me and spent an entire weekend with me talking through storylines, characters, and he asked me for material and outtakes."

While Gabaldon is shown scripts and serves as a sounding board for producers, she doesn't write or direct episodes. But she will have a special role with the series beyond executive producer. "I get two lines in one scene as a cameo; that's the extent of my personal involvement," she revealed.

Co-star Heughan, who with Moore sported a kilt for the panel, said the fan response to the TV series has been really exciting. "We've filmed four episodes so far, and we feel like we're right on the edge of this rollercoaster. It's been a thrill to be a part of," he said.

Added Balfe: "I don't think I was aware of the magnitude of the fans and how enthusiastic they are. It's a dream job."

Outlander will premiere in the summer on Starz.
'Outlander': New photo and Ron Moore interview
By James Hibberd on Jan 9, 2014 at 10:56AM

Starz’ upcoming fantasy drama Outlander promises to bring to life a beloved time-travel romance novel series life as well as return Battlestar Galactica showrunner Ron Moore to TV. As readers of Diana Gabaldon’s books are well aware, the story follows Claire (Caitriona Balfe), a married combat nurse in the 1940s who’s vacationing with her husband (Tobias Menzies) in Scotland. Claire falls through a time-travel portal to the 18th century, where she falls in love with a young warrior (Sam Heughan). Above is the first photo from the show’s 1945 era and below we have a interview with Moore, who in addition to showrunning Outlander is also producing the promising Syfy thriller Helix. Moore gives us some details about Outlander, as well as touches on HBO’s fantasy hit Game of Thrones, and the potential TV future of some franchises he’s previously worked on (namely, Star Wars and Star Trek).

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You’ve said before your wife recommended the book to you. What appealed to you about the story?
RON MOORE: I’m a fan of history and historical fiction. But I think what attracted me the most is the central character of Claire. She is smart and funny and interesting and I like that she’s a woman of the 1940s instead of contemporary. I like the way she handled things. In order for the audience to accept [the premise], the character had to be very real and very grounded. She’s not running around making dopey comments about the 20th century and looking for telephones. And she’s a nurse, and she has a real skill that [the Scottish warriors] need. I didn’t know anything about that time in Scotland and just got pulled into this world.

How was casting these two lead characters who have such a strong fan following?
Moore: We went into this saying there’s a lot of Claires out there. We’ll find Clarie and [her Scottish lover] Jamie was going to really kill us — he’s the tough one. Of course, it was the exact opposite. It was really hard to find somebody to be Clarie. The show sits on her shoulders in a very real way — she’s in every scene, every day, and it had to be an actress who can bring that character to life with a lot of depth.

What was the most important aspect to pull off?
Moore: The most crucial characteristic is that she’s intelligent. We’re going to be watching her think a lot. She’s a character who’s thinking all the time — she doesn’t have anyone to tell this secret to. And Caitriona has that.

What’s your approach to staging the past?
Moore: I think what we’re going for overall is we’re trying to deliver an authentic period piece. We’re not trying to reinvent the 18th century and make it cool for modern audiences. There’s a temptation to make period pieces look like a costume drama, where everything is very clean and beautiful. We’re going for a rougher, grittier feeling to what life was like back then.

Since you’re on Starz, how much sex will the show have?
Moore: It’s an intimate show in an epic setting. There is a fair amount. We don’t really have to add very much; there’s a lot of sex in the book. There’s a fair amount of violence, too, but it’s not a battle show — we’re not getting into the big slo-mo spurts of blood.

Given that you’re launching a fantasy drama on premium cable, are you influenced at all by the success of HBO’s Game of Thrones?
Moore: It’s definitely opened that door and showed that fantasy and genre material has a strong audience on premium cable. They also showed you can take an existing readership and turn it into an audience and then broaden that audience. We don’t think of ourselves as their competition because they won that corner of the world and they do what they do amazingly well. We want to find our own different space.

So is the plan to do one book per season?
Moore: The general scheme is one season, one book. There will be 16 episodes for the first season, and it will cover the entire first book.

Since you were running Battlestar, serialized dramas have really taken off. Are there any current ones you’ve been particularly impressed with or that make things easier or harder for you doing Outlander?
Moore: It’s hard to apply specifically to Outlander. I’ve been a fan of Thrones, I’ve been impressed with how they’ve navigated the adaption process. Less with The Walking Dead, because they’ve varied a lot from the source material and been very successful, but I’ve been trying to stick [with the source material]. I’ve been impressed with Homeland and its ability to shock its audience, and Mad Men fort its utter dedication to character.

Any update on the Star Wars live-action series that you helped develop a long, long time ago?
Moore: I have heard nothing. It’s owned by Disney now.

I heard the issue was George Lucas wanted to make a show that would have been impossible for TV, budget wise.
Moore: It depends on your expectation level. What George wanted to do with it, his scale was extraordinarily ambitious on a TV budget. Lots of CGI and complicated effects work. There’s a way to do the series more on a produce-able scale, but it would still be expensive. If you’re going to put on a Star Wars show the audience is going to expect a certain level of “wow.” The scripts were written as if money was no object. George was like, “Don’t worry about it.” [Producer Rick McCallum] would groan and put his head in his hands periodically. So for us it was like, “Okay, f–k it, let’s write whatever we want.” But if you wanted to go back into it, you could realistically dial it back.

What about Star Trek, have you heard any rumblings of a new series on that front?
Moore: I’d love to see Star Trek put into series format again. I’ve always felt Trek had its heart as a TV show. The show is conceptually built around a group of characters that go out and deal with moral or ethical dilemmas. All those individual character stories can’t be done in a feature film because the stakes have to be enormous — the universe is at risk — and it’s always going to be about Kirk and Spock. But the show’s heart to me is an adventure story that can only be explored in the TV realm I’d love to see it move back. I think J.J. [Abrams] has done a tremendous job. It’s waiting to return to TV and do the other thing it’s known for — it’s a show about ideas and not just action.


When does this premiere?

I just bought the first book on my kindle for $1.99. Ill start it after I finish another book I'm reading. Does the series stay good or does it get weaker as it goes along?

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