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Gerard Butler is Robert Burns

Gerard Butler is Robert Burns

Gerard Butler is set to play Scottish poet/lyricist Robert Burns in an upcoming biopic.

According to UK’s Times Online, the film will be titled Burns and will focus on his love affairs with his wife Jean Armour and Agnes McLehose, also known as Clarinda, an Edinburgh society hostess.

In an interview with the BBC, Gerry shared, “In a way but I feel so lucky to have that opportunity because it’s such a great story and we have the best script by Alan Sharp, who wrote Rob Roy. I cajoled Julia Stiles into doing it but she told me it was the best script she’d read in years so she’s on board and we also have Brian Cox. We cover Burns’ life from the ploughman days to the Edinburgh society days and his take-off as a poet. It’s beautiful, it’s passionate, it’s sexy, it’s hilarious and it’s really quite sad as well.”

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  • pafan

    Bravo, Gerry. Burns and Butler, two of Scotland’s favorite sons.

  • [☆I n F a m o u s☆]

    gerard butler is a douchebag.

  • nyob

    Isn’t he a bit old to play this man? He died in his late 30s, so I assume most of the movie is set in his 20s/early 30s. I am suprised James McAvoy is not involved with this.

  • Jen1

    But why Julia Stiles? Why not just get a Scottish/British actress to play the part(s). It’s dismaying that they insist on casting the actress before the part. Too bad. Also, nyob, I agree. James McAvoy would’ve been perfect.

  • Flisbeth

    Lovely…I’ll watch that

  • amen

    JJ thanks for the lovely spread on Gerry Butler’s BURNS project. I tried to find the BBC interview you reference there – any chance you could give us a link to that?
    Thanks so much.

  • you’ve got to be kidding me

    Gerard Butler and Julia Stiles – Here are the two main actors that suck big time @ss:,

    James McAvoy was robbed.

  • anon

    James McAvoy is sooooooooo overrated. He always looks like death. Gerard Butler is a great actor and has made some rather bad choices over the past several years. But this news along with the new thriller he is making now with Jamie Fox, seem to be good choices for him. He will be amazing. Meanwhile he also will have two potential huge movies releasing in 09 in The Ugly Truth and Game. Both could catapolt this man higher on the A list List!

  • Tara

    Yes! Being from Scotland I am so proud that this movie is going to be made and headlines by a true Scot in Butler. I really like Butler and Brian Cox. Many times I think Gerry has been miscast because of his good looks. Now he will finally get to show off his talents! YES!!!

  • pratifox

    Awesome. Hopefully he will stay away from romcoms and do more serious stuff.

  • lizzie

    casey affleck looks like him more

  • amen

    I would not be so sure on the Julia Stiles part. She was only mentioned in conjunction with the film several years ago…not recently…. I doubt the Scots have to send off to America for Lassies to play Jean or Clarinda.

  • anonymous

    That BBC article was from 2004.

  • you’ve got to be kidding me

    #8, shush yourself..

    you are a sh!t head and have no taste.

  • cjc

    Gerard Butler was chosen because he’s worked on getting this project to go from the beginning. As far as not casting a Brit/Scot Actress You don’t know that one won’t be. The big picture is not just about telling Burn’s story, but to tell it in a way that will draw more than just Scot/UK/literary fan’s to watch it….they want to make it a seller in the US too. It has to earn money to cover costs of production…. so don’t get yer knickers in knots people. No slights to anyone when they cast. JUST business. By selection Julia (if they do), then she’ll draw US and younger audiences that may have not given the movie a second glance with just the title… because no offense, but until Gerard Butler – I’d never heard of Burns. (glad I do know, mind you as I have been a fan of his poetry/songs – just didn’t know it)

    ta and cheers

  • anon

    What a shame. He’s too old looking and not a good actor. Julia Stiles isn’t a good actress either. She’s wooden and he overacts like he’s in a high school play.

    They should’ve gotten McAvoy. I guess Gerard Butler kissed up to the right people so he could finally be famous in his own country. What a “coincidence” that he got the publicity of announcing this with the Burns Anniversay. If he overacts in this film, all of Scotland will hate him.

    It might be exactly what his out of control ego needs. Hope he’s taking some acting lessons.

  • amen

    Bringing Stiles name into this discussion is silly. The article from 2004 mentioned her way back then – come on folks it’s 2009 now. Gerard has invested in the project and owns the rights to produce it. If McAvoy wants to find or write a script and do a Burns film he is free to do so, but Gerry got this one and he’s waited a long, long time to do it.

  • celt

    Have you haters ever watched Dear Frankie, RocknRolla, or any of his films other than 300? He’s a great actor and has been passionate about bringing Burns to the big screen for years. Burns is a deep, complicated character and I think Butler is a great choice.

    I haven’t always enjoyed the story lines for the movies Gerard Butler has acted in, but he’s always played his part very well. He’s diverse and takes risks, which I enjoy. Like an other actor, I’m sure there were times he just had to pay the bills. This certainly isn’t one of those times.

    I’m excited!

  • Oko

    Gerard Butler cannot act.

    Watch him screw this one up.


  • crazy 4 u

    I just love these comments about how he can’t act. This is funny because I have never read a bad review on him. Some of his movies yes , but never him.


    Butler would be great!!!! Perfect news. Butler and Burns.

    Gerard is soooooo handsome.

  • Anon

    I’ve been a Gerard Butler fan for more then five years. I can tell you for a fact that The Robert Burns project has been his obsession for at least that long. He has been trying for ever to get the financing together to make this movie. I am very glad to see it finally happen.
    Julia Stiles was attached to it and agreed to do it from the beginning. Gerard was even talking to her about it during all the publicity roll out for the Phantom of the Opera. That’s how long Gerard has wanted to do this. Actually longer then that. This is his baby.

  • Pat

    First of all, I agree with crazy 4 u. I’ve never read a bad review on Gerry either. He puts his heart and soul into every performance he gives! Regarding Julia Stiles…he met her when he was filming Beowulf & Grendel in Iceland many years ago and they discussed the Burns project. She was very excited about it, according to Gerry and this is when I remember reading that she and Brian Cox would be attached to the project when it materialized. Maybe things have changed..that has been quite a while ago. All I know is that Gerry has been trying to get this put together since way back then. Everyone I know is very excited that his plans will finally be a reality! Way to go, Gerry!

  • idontcare

    Butler is 39 (looks 45) and Burns died when he was 37. He’s too old for this role. And if they try to make him look young ala PS I Love You flashbacks, it’s a scary sight indeed. Ick.
    McAvoy is younger and ten times the actor Butler is. He should be Burns.

  • bailey

    Finally this has been put in front! I cannot wait.

  • Stacey k

    Get over it Gretchen… Gerry HAS the role. James is a great actor, but Gerry has been attached to this movie for years. Maybe his own production company is involved. I’m happy for him.

  • Holly

    This is GREAT news! Gerry is Scotlands best import, by far!

  • Betts

    I have been waiting for this a long time. Gerard is the best one to play this part and make history with it. He always puts his all in his Roles and he will do an excellent job playing Burns. No one else could have played this part to me. thanks Gerard I hope this one has Oscar on it.

  • embr

    Gerard Butler will be an excellent Robert Burns. Robert Burns was, by all known portraits, a very handsome charismatic man. All the ladies appreciated him, and he returned this appreciation in an obvious way, fathering fourteen illegitamate children. Burns could not stay away from the ladies. He adored them, and they adored him. James McAvoy is an excellent actor, but he simply does not have the physical presence, the sex appeal, if you will, to make himself believable as a ladies man, which Burns undeniably was.

    Gerard Butler is that man, that actor………all the way.

  • hahahaha

    thanks Betts I needed a good laugh. Gerard Butler getting an Oscar. A Razzie maybe….

    sorry I agree with the other comments….he is a terrible actor & should stick to action movies only.

  • amen

    Oh please people – if we want Gerry to have success with his BURNS project – please stop with the Oscar talk – it is totally inappropriate and will work against Gerry and the film. It is the height of presumption and it makes people furious – and I am one of them.
    I doubt the film will be made for the American audience and may not even get released here. Please no more Oscar references OK.

  • Sally tomato

    I’m so glad this long sought project is finally coming to fruition. for Butler.

    I wish him the best in bringing his passion to the screen and honestly feel he will embody Burns in spirit if not exactly in looks. GB is a charming rogue as was Burns.

    Lots of people holding their breaths for this movie, but I have a feeling that even in LAC, we will see a more nuanced performance from him.
    This is the first serious film in a while. He has the talent, he just needs good material and directors that can pull it out of him and make him tone it down when it’s called for and give him free reign when passion is needed. I hope Gary Gray can do it…. then Burns will be gravy.

    Keeping my fingers crossed.

  • Jamie

    Well, Robert Burns was a manwhore and so is Gerry Butler so I guess he really will be perfect in this role.

  • man whoring

    Hey, maybe gerry’s slutting around has just been research for the sake of his art.

  • Anon

    Irnoically, Butler told interviewers several years ago, that the Butlers are Irish and migrated over to Scotland several generations ago. So Gerard identifies with Scotland, and he was born and raised Scottish and he is very proud of that, but his ancestry is Irish.

  • becca

    Great casting… Robert Burns’ poetry is beautiful – and I LOVE period pieces! The language is always captivating.

  • pafan

    Of course, I agree that no one but Gerard Butler can play Burns. Think of that voice reciting Burn’s…
    I only hope Julia Stiles is so over for this movie.
    Emily Mortimer and/or Valerie Edmond should be the women in Burns. No fake Scottish accents, please. This is an historic film meant to capture history. Make it real.
    I’m so happy for GB. Imagine the head of your nation’s government announcing that you are the choice for this historic role. What an honor.

  • jilleroo

    Same old conflicting opinions on Butler, no matter what the topic of the news story. He’s a great actor; he’s a terrible actor. He looks great; he looks old and washed up. He’s humble and nice or an arrogant jerk with an ego out of control. Nobody mentioned the gay/straight issue here for once. : ) SO FAR! Obviously some people admire this actor and others dislike him (some intensely it seems.) .

    #2, I’m curious you call him a douchebag. I’m not saying you might not have a good reason. Without any elaboration, though, it is unclear why you think that or what this has to do with the Burns movie.

    But I believe #17, #22 and #23 got the facts right. on the film This started as a project by Butler and partners. It is not a matter of him being “chosen” for the role over James McAvoy or anyone else. Butler has discussed this movie on camera over several years, and said, among other things that Julia Stiles’ knowledge of and feeling for Burns’ work and her enthusiasm for the project overrode her not being Scottish. He also pointed out that until a project is ready to roll you don’t know who you will finally have on board, since actors have to make other commitments in the meantime and may ultimately not be available or change their minds for whatever reasons.

    It sounds as if Butler’s team just got some great support from Scotland to do a movie that has been on the back burner with his fledgling company for a long time. Commercial financing channels probably find it too risky, especially in blockbuster-seeking Hollywood. Personally, I enjoy well made, thought provoking (reasonably accurate) historical and biographical films and hope this proves to be one of those.

    I like reading what people have to say about issues, but these comments sites are much more fun and rewarding when people share solid knowledge, well researched information, and well-considered opinions without name calling and attacking others. Sorry to go on so long here, but I feel this keeps needing to be said.

  • Stacey k

    On the official website they have announced that Burns is being co-produced by Gerry’s Evil Twins production company. As many have said, this IS Gerry’s project. I’m happy he now has the clout and financial backing to further his dreams of creating and starring in a film that his home country will be proud of.

  • tracy

    #29, you said exactly what I have been thinking the entire time Gerry has been working on this. He is perfect, because he is a womanizer, Actually I’m really surprised he hasn’t ended up with kids of his own by now, what with the rotating door, etc. I also think he can draw on his experiences as a Scottish guy to help him with the part, (after all, his recent behaviors (being seen at bars) all reflect of a man who may be 39 years old, but acts about 29 years old,chasing all the skirts in town) I don’t mean to come off as harsh, because I am one of his biggest fans but, lets face it anyone who has followed his life at all for any amount of time, knows that he acts just like a player half the time and a responsible guy the rest of the time. By the way Anon, He approached Julia about this part in the movie, while he was filming “Beowulf and Grendel”, or in production of it. because she was there in Canada,doing some work for a movie, she was working on at the time, the rest of the movie of course was filmed in Iceland

  • burns

    Will never make it to wide release and will most likely not be released in the United States.

  • debkz

    I think Gerard Butler’s publicist and you are in this togheter. you are the only website that has info on him. I like him,but why don’t they publicize anywhere else?

  • dubious

    #35 — Except for the ancient Picts who were in Scotland & not Ireland, the Scots & the Irish are anthropoligically the same: Celts invaded by the Vikings, so they have Nordic blood in them as well. Any attempt to separate the two by anything other than nationality is ridiculous. They are inextricably mixed. Aside from that, I can only think from Butler’s desciption that this script covers Burns’ life when he was far younger than Butler is now & I can’t imagine how they think they’re going to make Butler look 21 – 37 when he already looks 45. And btw, I love Butler, but he doesn’t look young. Acting-wise I honestly believe he can handle whatever he puts his mind to. The truth is, with his production co. behind this they’ll taylor it to him to make him look good (ala Charlize Theron’s prod co. & “Monster”). Also Butler’s above description is the first one I’ve seen over the past couple of yrs that hasn’t made this script sound geared toward Burn’s sex life – as imagined in the head of Alan Sharp. None of this sounds like a good movie. But I guess awards have been won based on worse stuff though I have a hard time imagining it.

  • Sandy

    Gerard Butler is the ONLY one to play this character. He WILL BECOME Burns as he has become every character he has portrayed on screen. THAT is Gerard Butler. He is the consumit ACTOR, becoming his characters. He is the only actor of this era that can pull that off EVERY time he performs. His versitily alone speaks to his greatness as an actor. He IS the Phantom, King Leonidas, Dracula,
    Gerry Kennedy, Beowulf, the Stranger. Name any other actor of today that could have BEEN all of these different characters. None exists, just Gerry.

    He has had some 2nd rate films but he has never played a 2nd rate character. Even the worst characters he has played he has made into GREAT characters.

    Burns will be a wonderful movie ONLY because it has Gerard Butler as the main character.

    Continue to inspire us Mr. Butler. I stand in awe of you.

  • pafan

    #45: Amen.

  • Just me for you

    I couldn’t be happier for him and Alan. What a success this is! This has been a pet project, and one dear to his big as Texas heart, for a very long time. The best part (for me) is it will be filmed in Scotland! This delights me (beyond words) because it removes him from Hollywood and places him on his home turf. Returning there to film will connect him not only to Burns in a authentic way which will help him get into character but be at seed and soil of where the poetry was written! But best of all, it will keep him close to his own family as well. Bravo Gerry, you did it! :-)
    I love you,

  • Liz

    Gerard Butler has the looks, talent, charisma, and passion to play Burns…He has been working hard trying to get this biopic filmed. You know, I’m sorry for all of your McAvoy fans…the guy DOEs look llike death..he’s very slight* and pale. He should play Billy Elliot or something. But Gerarad? Yum. Also, people back in the seventeen -hundreds died in their forties..often. The life expectancy even in the early 1900′s was only about 46.. So a young guy could look in his late thirties..easily. When someone is as handsome as Gerard, who would even notice. In “Lost” Matthew Fox donned a wig to play youonger…who cares? Gerard I want to see Gerard in this role!!!!

    I used to teach Burns in my British literature class…and he was so talented in more than just poetry. I’m sure that Gerard can bring in all of the nuances of the man..

    And yes, he was a sexy beast: so is Gerard! Don’t be jealous!
    Gerard rocks!

  • Pat

    Love your comments, Liz. You go girl! I feel the same way! Sexy beast…huh? That’s an understatement!!! He will do a wonderful job with Burns….just those “looks” alone will do it for me! Sometimes he doesn’t have to say a word…just his expressions say it all!

  • tiana

    We know (Gerry fans) that he’ll put his heart and soul into this movie
    And this is what really matters… I think James McAvoy is a great actor, but maybe he woudn’t be so interested in doing it……
    wtg, Gerry…
    and by the way… the dogs bark and the caravan passes by….

  • pafan

    A poll ran on the Robert Burns movie site for quite awhile to see who should star. GB, who has the role, got 78 percent of the popular vote. Next closest was Robert Carlyle at 14 percent. Ewan McGregor came in a distant third at 6 percent. The peeps have spoken.