Scottish writer Alasdair Gray’s novel set to be made into a film starring Emma Stone

The 1992 novel Poor Things, written by the beloved, late, Glaswegian writer, Alasdair Gray, is set to be adapted into a film starring Oscar winning actress, Emma Stone.

Scottish writer Alasdair Gray’s novel set to be made into a film starring Emma Stone.
Scottish writer Alasdair Gray’s novel set to be made into a film starring Emma Stone.

The book will be brought to life by director Yorgos Lanthimos and is due to begin filming in autumn 2021.

Mr Lanthimos’ previous work includes The Lobster, and The Favourite, which also starred Emma Stone.

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It is understood that Mr Lanthimos will collaborate with Tony McNamara on the script, an Australian screenwriter who co-wrote The Favourite.

When Poor Things was published, it won the Whitbread Novel Award and the Guardian Fiction Prize for 1992.

In this ‘post-modern revision of Frankenstein’, the plot follows Bella Baxter (Emma Stone), in Victorian Glasgow, as she takes the role of the traditional monster; a beautiful woman who is resuscitated when a fetus’ brain is placed in her skull after she drowned herself to escape her abusive husband.

At the time of publication, critics described Poor Things as funny, dirty and “magnificently brisk”.

The film’s release date is yet to be announced.

He passed away in hospital in 2019 at the age of 85, but during his career, Alasdair Gray published nine novels, as well as a number of short-stories, poems and radio and television plays.

His debut novel, and the one which he is most well-known for, Lanark, was a ‘love-letter’ to Glasgow, his birthplace and his muse.

Published in 1981, after a period of writing stretching over 30 years, Lanark combined a sense of kitchen sink realism with surreal and dystopian magic, these seemingly ­contrasting styles complementing each other ­perfectly through Gray’s unique voice.

Lanark was an immediate hit, named Book of the Year by both the Saltire Society and the Scottish Arts Council the following year, and inspiring the English author Anthony Burgess to describe Gray as “the best Scottish author since Walter Scott”

Outside of literature, Gray was renowned as a painter, designer of book covers and mural illustrator, whose signature work evoked a blend of sharp art deco lines and organic Celtic style, often with a female figure at its heart.

He studied at Glasgow School of Art from 1952 to 1957, and taught there from 1958 to 1962.

He is the artist responsible for the breathtaking mural on the ceiling in Glasgow's Òran Mór. Commissioned by Colin Beattie, it is one of the largest pieces of public art in Scotland.

Gray was born in Riddrie, a suburb of Glasgow in 1934 to a labourer father and a mother who worked in a clothing warehouse.

He had a working class Scottish upbringing on a Glasgow council estate.

He was married twice, first to Danish nurse, Inge Sorensen in the 1960’s, with whom he had a son before they divorced, and second to Morag McAlpine.

His second marriage lasted from 1991 until her death in 2014.

In 2015, Gray suffered a serious fall at home which broke his back, but he maintained a public presence up until his death in 2019, the day after his 85th birthday.

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