Starz in association with Sony Pictures Television has announced today that Sam Heughan will play the role of Jamie Fraser in the original series Outlander, adapted from Diana Gabaldon's international best-selling books, which will premiere on Starz in 2014. The chivalrous young Scottish warrior, Jamie Fraser, has been adored worldwide by fans of the seven-book series that has sold more than 20 million copies and has graced the New York Times best-sellers list six times.
Author Diana Gabaldon had this to say about the casting in a statement.
"Oh. My. God. That man is a Scot to the bone and Jamie Fraser to the heart. 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."
Series creator Ronald D. Moore also released a statement about the actor.
"From the very beginning, I knew the part of Jamie Fraser would be difficult to cast. I had no one in mind for the part. I knew that someone would just come into the audition and be Jamie Fraser. And that's what Sam did."
In Outlander, Jamie Fraser strikes up a passionate affair with Claire Randall, a married combat nurse from 1945 who is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743. Armed with sheer grit and enduring strength, he is a strapping young Scottish clan lord with a complicated past and a disarming sense of humor. He is intelligent, principled, and, by 18th century standards, educated and worldly, with a tenderness and compassion that stands out in contrast to his contemporaries. A natural leader of men, he has no political ambitions or desire for battlefield glories. Instead, he wishes to remove the price on his head and return to his family's ancestral farm.
Sam Heughan is a graduate of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. He was a 2003 nominee for the Laurence Olivier Award for Most Promising Performance for his work in the program. Last year, he originated the role of Batman in the DC/Warner Brothers and Waterlane production of "Batman Live," an international tour which opened at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles and went on to tour in South America and throughout Europe. In 2010, he was nominated for a British Soap Award for "Villain of the Year" for his role as Scott Neilson in the BBC soap opera Doctors. He has also had roles in a range of television series including, Island at War, The Wild West, Midsomer Murders, and, most recently, Any Human Heart as Lieutenant McStay. His TV movie credits include, Breaking the Mould for BBC Television, A Very British Sex Scandal for Channel 4 and First Light for BBC2. He was nominated for a "Grace award" for his performance as Prince Ashton, the son of Sir Roger Moore, in A Princess for Christmas for Hallmark Channel. His film credits include the short film Small Moments, and the feature films Alexander the Great from Macedonia and Emulsion. He will also be seen in the upcoming film Heart of Lightness. On stage, Heughan has performed at a variety of theatres in such productions as "King John," "Romeo and Juliet," "The Vortex," "Hamlet," "Macbeth," "The Talented Mr. Ripley" and more. At the Royal Scottish Academy, Heughan starred in productions including "Crime & Punishment," "The Seagull," and "Prometheus Bound." He is repped by United Talent Agency in the US and United Agents in the UK.
The series adaptation for Outlander will be written by Ronald D. Moore (Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: The Next Generation). Ronald D. Moore and Jim Kohlberg are executive producers of Outlander, which is produced by Tall Ship Productions, Story Mining & Supply Company and Left Bank Pictures in association with Sony Pictures Television.
The series will begin filming in Scotland this fall.