Xingu Films Picks Up ‘Outlander’

Best-selling historical adventure and gothic love story to the big screen.

Last Updated: July 22, 2009 @ 6:55 AM

Trudie Styler of Xingu Films, whose film Moon recently won the top prize at the Edinburgh Film Festival, has joined forces with Canadians Sandra Cunningham of Strada Films, and Robin Cass and Anna Stratton of Triptych Media to capture the film rights to “The Outlander,” first time novelist Gil Adamson’s best-selling historical adventure and gothic love story published by House of Anansi Press, which the Washington Post says “bolts off the opening page…An absorbing adventure from a Canadian poet and short story writer who knows how to keep us enthralled".

The beautifully written, darkly compelling drama unfolds around the central figure of 19-year-old Mary Boulton, half mad and struggling for survival in the wilderness and isolation of turn-of-the-century Canada, relentlessly pursued by her late husband’s brothers who seek revenge for his murder. Critics from the US, Canada and the UK have lavished praise on “The Outlander”. The Boston Globe calls it “a remarkable first novel,” The Guardian; “striking, thoughtful, full of unexpected twists,” The Globe and Mail; “a gorgeous surprise” while The Independent wrote “The Outlander could have been a mere rip-roaring tale of adventure on the frontier, but Adamson’s thoughtful, resilient language gives it an uncommon depth.”

“One of our producers, Alex Francis, is Canadian and introduced me to The Outlander, believing it would make a great film. The defiant spirit of the brilliantly drawn female lead hugely appealed to me, a role that any young actress would love to play,” said Xingu founder Styler. “A novel this gripping, with its vivid landscapes, epic, cinematic quality and intricately constructed characters cries out to be adapted for the big screen.”

Triptych’s Robin Cass and Anna Stratton said, “We are delighted to be embarking on a second project with Xingu and our first with Sandra Cunningham’s Strada Films toward adapting this novel at the international level it inspires.” Xingu, Strada and Triptych will be looking for a writer and director in the coming months. 

Sarah MacLachlan, President of House of Anansi, said, “From the moment we received the manuscript and read the electrifying opening paragraph of Gil’s extraordinary novel we were convinced that it was going to thrill and seduce readers all around the world. Now we couldn’t be more excited that this unforgettable story is going to move from the printed page to the screen. We can’t wait to see these characters come to life once again in such capable hands.”

Gil Adamson said, “I am flat-out thrilled about this. “The Outlander” is in very fine hands with Xingu, Strada and Triptych. I believe they are passionate and focused, and everything they have said about my novel indicates they will do something brilliant with the story. As well, it is wonderful that we have a UK-Canadian co-production , because it means the film has the potential to reach a truly international audience.”