Delay in Burns bio-pic goes from bad to verse
Category: Burns News | Posted by: admin
Article Date: May 20, 2006 | Publication: The Daily Express | Author:
THE best-laid movie plans have been known to gang aft agley and, in the case of a £20 million film to portray the life of Scotland's bard Robert Burns, they've have done so again.
One of its collaborators, Eric Rowan – ex-conman turned film producer who wrote the soundtrack – has gone into hiding, living in a caravan somewhere in England; its star, Gerard Butler, has got two movies lined up for the rest of the year; director, Vadim Jean, has gone off to Romania to shoot the Terry Pratchett Discworld book Hogwatch, starring David Jason; and there still remains a threat of a writ being served the day the movie starts shooting by angry former producers attached to the project when it was being developed under the original title of Clarinda.
"The movie won't be happening this year, if at all, " said a source. "It's a shame because they got the best script that they could get." That came from Greenock-born Rob Roy scriptwriter Alan Sharp. Now based in New Zealand, he at least has been paid in full for a complete rewrite and some final polishing.
A few months ago actor Robert Cavanagh, cast as the poet's brother Gilbert, said he expected filming to begin before the end of the year.
"Oh no, it's not, " said director Vadim Jean, when I contacted him in Romania. "It's not dead but resting.
I'm in Discworld shooting at the moment, with six months of post production ahead and Gerry's got two movies lined up for rest of this year, so we're planning to go next year when we're both available again." Of all the colourful characters involved in Burns, convicted fraudster Rowan, 53 – once a Marbella-based high-roller and a director in the film company Alloway productions – is perhaps the most intriguing. "He's living in a caravan and doesn't want to be found, " said the reliable source. "He has his own motives for keeping a low profile."