Philippa Gregory insists on 'fact clause' in film contracts

Philippa Gregory insists on 'fact clause' in film contracts

Author Philippa Gregory insists on a “clause” in film contracts to prevent filmmakers from changing historic facts in her work.

“I could not tolerate script writers changing the history of the novels," Gregory told the BBC. “The temptation of film makers to treat historical fact and fiction as if they were one and the same thing... is something I oppose."

Gregory added: “[Scriptwriters] of course have the right to adapt the fiction to a drama. It's one of the interesting issues that emerges when writing a hybrid like historical fiction, when the history is on the record but the fiction - the material of the novel - is of course imagined.”

Gregory said that the clause was a new one for her contracts and “doesn’t apply to works already in development” but added: “I imagine I will try to apply it in all future contracts.”

According to the Times, when asked about film adaptation during a talk at Edinburgh International Book Festival, Gregory said: “It distresses me so much when I am trying to defend the history of the film, having gone to the trouble of getting it right in the novel.”

"Let me assure you that when the producers have put £72m on their film production, they are not going to stop because I say, 'that hood is not right'," she said. "They are going to say, 'thank you honey, have another glass of champagne'."

She added: "Once you are in a big, big, massive, expensive production like that, your importance and interest diminishes probably proportionately. So I was 72 million times less important than I was at the beginning of it."

A film adaptation of Greggory’s novel The Other Boleyn Girl (Harper) was released in 2008 and two of Gregory's books have been adapted by the BBC for drama series - The White Queen (Simon & Schuster) and The Other Boleyn Girl.

Gregory’s latest novel Three Sisters, Three Queens (Simon & Schuster) is currently number one in the original fiction chart for the week ending 13th August.