CATEGORIES Drama, Independent, Romance, Deals, RumorMonger, DIY/Filmmaking, Newsstand, Movie News, CinematicalPoor Scotland -- it seems only if you have Mel Gibson or Liam Neeson in a kilt can you get one of your native heroes onscreen. Not that Gerard Butler hasn't tried. He's long cherished plans of starring in a biopic of Scottish poet Robert Burns. The problem has always been one of financing -- even after 300, Butler wasn't able to convince anyone to fund the film, apparently due to a combination of no one outside of Scotland remembering or caring who Robert Burns was, and no one quite knowing who this "Gerard Butler guy" was. (I imagine Scottish heroes are probably easier to market to overseas audiences if they're wielding massive claymores instead of pens.)
That may soon change. According to The Times, Butler hopes to get his chance in 2009. Vadim Jean is attached to direct, and James Cosmo is set to produce. (Presumably, Butler might as well since he does have his own shingle now.) Most of the budget is already in place, thanks to Scottish Screen, and the remainder will be raised by signing 250 "subscribers" to the project. They're borrowing an idea from Burns himself -- in 1786, investors backed the famous Kilamarnock Edition of Burns' poetry, convincing the poet to abandon his plan to relocate to Jamaica. This year would also be the perfect one to film in, since its the 250th anniversary of the poet's birth.
I'd happily contribute, since I'm rather fond of Burns, Scotland, and period pieces (and ok, Butler himself) but I'm sure one has to be richer (and probably Scottish) to be one of the 250. So here's a bit of press instead, and best of luck to Butler, Jean, and Cosmo that 2009 is their year. Movie audiences need a little poetic education once and awhile.