Scots movie star Gerard Butler meets director over Robert Burns film
Dec 26 2010 Toby Mcdonald, Sunday Mail
HOLLYWOOD star Gerard Butler has staged a secret New York summit about making the long-awaited Robert Burns movie.
After years of speculation and several doomed efforts to film the Bard's life, the 300 star met director Vadim Jean at the glitzy Paramount Hotel in Times Square to discuss the project.
Last night, Jean confirmed the pair had been putting the finishing touches to plans for the Burns movie.
He said: "We are great friends and we were meeting up, catching up. Burns is still on and we talked about working together."
Reports had claimed Jean wanted to sign Paisley-born Butler to a new movie called Limousine co-starring Frasier actor Kelsey Grammer.
But Jean said: "I am doing Limousine with Kelsey Grammer - whoever overhead the conversation got it completely wrong. Gerry isn't involved in that.
"Maybe they overheard our conversation about Burns and put two and two together and made five."
Jean, the man behind Leon The Pig Farmer and One More Kiss - in which Butler also starred - said: "Burns's words are at the heart of this film.
"If you read a poem like Ae Fond Kiss, you understand every word, whether you know Lowland Scots or not.
"The film will obviously use the poems unchanged and the dialogue will feel appropriate to the poetry.
"We want as many people as possible to know about Burns and we obviously can't change the poetry - but we want a broad audience to understand what is going on. "We don't want to subtitle it, so it would be madness to write it all, every word, in Lowland Scots. It just wouldn't be acceptable enough.
"But the language will fit the poems.
"We are not going to be asking our actors to try to do that accent if they can't, so we want it to be understandable, while preserving the feel and the worth of the poetry.
"Not enough people in the world know about Burns and this is a chance to introduce people to him."
Described as a Scottish Shakespeare In Love, the film focuses on Rabbie's lovelife as he is torn between wife Jean Armour and Edinburgh society hostess Agnes McLehose.
The film is being made by 41-year-old Butler's company Evil Twin and the Mob Film Company.
The Scottish government were to have helped with finance through a fundraising dinner, but that was cancelled. However, Scottish Screen's successors Creative Scotland will be involved.
Jean added: "Both Gerry and I are totally committed to this film. When the script is right, we know the money is there. People want to finance it."