NYCC 2018: Diana Gabaldon discusses turning books to TV show

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 31: 'Outlander' author Diana Gabaldon speaks at a Q
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 31: 'Outlander' author Diana Gabaldon speaks at a Q /

From Pages to Picture was an exciting NYCC 2018 panel for Outlander fans. Diana Gabaldon joined Mike Mignola and Justin Cronin in discussing the process of turning books to TV shows, and why she didn’t want a movie.

Can you believe that the Outlander books have been out for more than two decades? “Voyager” is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year with a special anniversary cover and “Outlander” turns 30 next year! It’s taken until 2014 to get a TV show adaptation, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing for Diana Gabaldon, as she shares more about the pages to picture process at NYCC 2018.

During a panel aptly named “Pages to Picture,” Gabaldon joined authors Mike Mignola and Justin Cronin to discuss adaptations and the process to get the books on the screen. There was a time that all Gabaldon could have gotten was a movie deal, but that wasn’t something she wanted. Honestly, there’s so much left out of the books on TV, a movie deal wouldn’t have made sense at all!

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Her books are tomes. They’re full of beautiful details that the show can only just scratch the surface. Part of me was disappointed with the lack of time spent on that 20-year separation during Outlander Season 3 because there was so much to know that would affect Claire and Jamie’s personalities when they’re older. The idea that Gabaldon was only able to consider movie deals at first makes me glad she held onto the rights as long as she did.

During the hour-long panel, which you can catch below, Gabaldon shared all about the process of finding someone to transform her books. One of the important elements is that the showrunner has read them, which is exactly what Ron D. Moore and Matthew B. Roberts can say they’ve done. Roberts routinely talks about the love he had for the books before he landed this project.

While there are naysayers out there for all types of reasons, Gabaldon had her choices and she clearly liked that Moore and Roberts were able to take hold of the tomes and transform them. Sure, she doesn’t like everything but who does? However, when changes are made, she can understand why and it’s always worth remembering that the series could have been a movie deal instead.

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What do you think of the idea of Outlander being a movie series? Would you have watched the movies if they came out a few years ago? Did you catch any of the panels and experiences at NYCC 2018? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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