And now, it is official: Scotsman Sam Heughan has landed the lead role of Jamie Fraser in Outlander, a Starz original series being adapted by Battlestar Galactica‘s Ronald D. Moore from Diana Gabaldon’s series of international bestsellers.
Rumors of Heughan’s casting first circulated last week, though at the time Starz insisted there was “no done deal.”
“Oh. My. God. That man is a Scot to the bone and Jamie Fraser to the heart,” novelist Gabaldon raves in a statement. “Having seen Sam Heughan not just act, but be Jamie, I feel immensely grateful to the production team for their painstaking attention to the soul of the story and characters.”
Outlander follows the story of Claire Randall, a married combat nurse from 1945 who is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743, where she is immediately thrown into an unknown world where her life is threatened. When she is forced to marry Jamie Fraser, a chivalrous and romantic young Scottish warrior, a passionate affair is ignited that tears Claire’s heart between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.
Heughan’s credits include the British miniseries Island at War and the UK sudser Doctors (where he played drug peddler Scott Neilson).
The Outlander series is being written by Ronald D. Moore, who will serve as executive producer with Jim Kohlberg. Starz ordered 16 episodes, which will begin filming in Scotland this fall with an eye on a 2014 premiere.