Outlander, Version 0.01


Finder of things, Doer of stuff
Remember all those reports of How Howard McCain and Mr Blackman Wrote Outlander nearly ten years ago and that Patrick Tatopolous' Moorwen design is nearly as old? Remember how Mr. McCain mentioned that at one time they had talked to Renny Harlin about potentially directing it?

Anyway, we've been trying to see if we could track down any more info about the earlier attempt to mount the production before Ascendant pictures became involved. We have a pretty good picture of the ups and downs that happened to once Ascendant got involved but here's a little of what we know from before that point.

Howard apparently came up with the original idea for a Beowulf retelling sometime around 1992. But He didn't really put pen to paper untill sometime in 1998.

Here's Howard from the UGO interview:
Howard McCain said:
I was just a budding screenwriter and it got me a writing career. It didn't sell, but it got me a career. Everybody liked it at the time and it got optioned a number of times. Renny Harlan was even going to make it once. Then a couple of years ago we tried to get it made, self financed. A friend of mine, Patrick Tatopolous did a fantastic creature for us for free. More time went by and we found this company called Ascendant Pictures...

Apparently, one of the times it was optioned was around the Year 2000 by David M. Kirschner Productions With Mr. Kirschner producing. A bunch of Concept art was done around september and october of that year so that they could work out a budget for the movie.

One of the artists that worked on that pitch was Matt Wolf. Matt mentioned to us that "at the time, all that existed was a script and a few design drawings and maquettes of the creature"which was designed by "the guy who designed Godzilla for the '98 film by Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich." He also mentioned that the current designs seem to have remained "more or less the same" but has perhaps become more sleek agile looking.

Mat mentioned that he read the script but only remembers it Vaguely. One scene that sticks in his mind though is "where all the vikings are drinking and they have this initiation/hazing practice where one of them jumps on the heads of all the people seated at a table." Matt had concerns that a 250 lb. viking warrior jumping on your head might break your neck and said as much. It kind of sounds like this scene evolved into the "Shield-Dance" sequence you can see a short part of in the MTV set visit video.

Another artist that worked on the same attempt to get Outlander under way is Stephan Martiniere who also did some concept work and who apparently also worked on an alternate creature design for the Moorwen.

We aren't really getting into a "could have been" type discussion but are more interested in building a history on what it took to bring the movie to the screen. We're very interested as well in how the film evolved over time. Was there any rewrites between options? We know the Moorwen itself is an early concept. Was there any more of this early artwork that was kept through to the end? Or did they pretty much start fresh on that front when the movie was picked up by Ascendant pictures?
How much work was actually done beyond a few pieces of art and a Budget? Etc.

Any thoughts? Post them here. If you have more info, feel free to either post it here or email us at outlander@solsector.net