Caitriona Balfe. Picture: Michael Segal/ Starz. .
U.S. TV network Starz has confirmed that Irish born actress Caitriona Balfe will fulfil the main female role in the network’s production of ‘Outlander’.
The news was revealed in Beverly Hills, California, September 11th, 2013, after a number of weeks of speculation by fans about just who would be cast to take on the female lead.
Due to commence filming at some point this month, the Outlander series will be produced in Cumbernauld’s old Isola warehouse, where crew, production staff and security have been spotted over the past few weeks.
Based on the best-selling series of novels by Diana Gabaldon, over 25 million copies of the Outlander novels series have been bought.
Outlander tells the story of Claire Randall, a former WWII Army nurse transported back in time to 18th century where she meets, and eventually marries, Highland warrior Jamie Fraser.
The series boasts a large-sized, loyal fan base, who kicked off the countdown to the announcement of the main female actor; launching the “Claire Watch 2013” and “Free Claire” campaigns, across social media, in anticipation of the announcement by Starz.
Commenting, Outlander author, Diana Gabaldon said: "Hard to believe lightning can strike twice, but it surely did. The moment Caitriona Balfe came on screen, I sat up straight and said, ‘There she is!’ She and Sam Heughan absolutely lit up the screen with fireworks."
Executive Producer, Ronald D. Moore added: “The casting of Claire Randall was a long and difficult one because the role is so crucial to the success of our show. Outlander is told from Claire's point of view and we experience the entire story through her eyes, so it was vital that we find exactly the right actor to play her.
“Caitriona wasn't on anyone's radar, she wasn't on any list, but when we saw her audition tape, we immediately knew she was someone special. Then, after we had her read with Sam, we knew we'd found our Claire. At its heart, Outlander is the story of two people -- Claire and Jamie -- their loves and losses, their adventures and tragedies, and now we finally have them both."
Spanning the genres of romance, science fiction, history and adventure “Outlander” is being filmed across Scotland, and produced in Cumbernauld, over 38 weeks; creating 16 episodes of the US show, due to be broadcast on the Starz network, next year.
The first two episodes of the series will be written by executive producer, Ronald D. Moore – whose credentials include Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Star Trek: The Next Generation; with John Dahl, the man behind top-hit shows such as Dexter, Breaking Bad, and Justified due to direct the first two episodes.
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.
Caitriona Balfe, though, who can next be seen in Escape Plan for Summit/Lionsgate, starring opposite Arnold Schwarznegger and Sylvester Stallone, comes to Outlander with credits including J.J. Abrams’ Paramount feature Super 8 as well as Bryan Singer and Jason Taylor’s digital series “H+.”
Balfe now joins previously announced cast members Sam Heughan (Jamie Fraser), Tobias Menzies (Frank Randall/Jonathan “Black Jack” Randall), Graham McTavish (Dougal MacKenzie), Gary Lewis (Colum MacKenzie), Duncan Lacroix (Murtagh Fitzgibbons Fraser), Annette Badland (Mrs. Fitzgibbons) and Stephen Walters (Angus Mhor).
For more on Outlander you can visit www.cumbernauld-media.com/outlander.
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