UPDATE, 9:05 AM: After a premature tweet by Starz last week, Sam Heughan was officially set today as the male lead in the upcoming drama series Outlander, based on Diana Gabaldon’s novels. “I am UTTERLY delighted to confirm that Sam @Heughan is cast as Jamie Fraser in #Outlander_Starz #Outlander“ Gabaldon said on Twitter today. “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,” added executive producer Ron Moore in a statement. The Scotland-born Heughan is repped by UTA and Ruth Young at United Agents. Outlander begins shooting this fall in Scotland and is expected to debut on Starz next spring.
PREVIOUSLY, FRIDAY PM: Turns out Starz says its digital division made a mistake earlier today posting the tweet confirming Sam Heughan as the lead. Starz now has taken down the tweet announcing Heughan as Jamie Fraser in the TV adaptation of the Outlander series. A press rep says the actor is in talks with no deal finalized yet. “I can’t confirm that contract is signed, but saw @heughan audition tapes. #jawdrop,” tweeted Outlander author Diana Gabaldon on Friday after Starz had taken down the initial tweet.
PREVIOUS 3:15 PM: Sam Heughan has been cast in the lead role of Jamie Fraser in Starz’s adaptation of Outlander, announced the cable channel today via Twitter. “It’s #FollowFriday here at #STARZ. Follow Sam Heughan (@Heughan) who will play the role of Jamie Fraser in #OutlanderSTARZ. #FF,” said the tweet from the official Starz Network account. Heughan has appeared in the 2007 TV movie A Very British Sex Scandal as well as in the BBC series Doctors back in 2009, among other roles. The Scottish actor is repped by UTA. Mixing romance, science fiction, history, and adventure, the seven-book Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon has sold 20 million copies worldwide. As officially announced on June 25, Starz has ordered 16 episodes of the series from Battlestar Galactica alum Ron Moore. Sony Pictures TV is producing the series with Tall Ship Productions, Story Mining and Supply Company and Left Bank Productions. Filming in Scotland this fall and expected to debut on Starz next year. An eighth novel in the series is scheduled to come out on March 25, 2014.