Ronald D. Moore To Adapt ‘Outlander’ Book Series For TV

Published 3 years ago by , Updated July 19th, 2013 at 12:40 pm,


The man behind the Battlestar Galactica reboot, Ronald D. Moore, has reportedly begun working on his next project, now that Sony Pictures Television has nabbed the rights to author Diana Gabaldon’s bestselling book series, Outlander.

Reportedly, Moore has started work on adapting Gabaldon’s seven book series (an eighth is set to be released in 2013) with plans to pitch the idea to cable networks as early as next week.

The incredibly high-concept Outlander series concerns a former British combat nurse, Claire Beauchamp Randall, who returns to the Scottish Highlands to be reunited with her husband following the end of WWII. Soon thereafter, Claire finds herself transported back in time to 1743, where she meets the sadistic Black Jack Randall – from whom her present-day husband is descended. Claire soon finds herself seeking escape in the company of a gang of Highland Scots who force her to marry one of their own, or else she’ll be handed over to Captain Randall.

So, as is usually the case in time-hopping, period romances set in the Scottish Highlands, Claire’s adventures consist of attempts to escape her Scottish captors, evade the cruel Captain Randall and find a way back to her time – all the while dealing with the fact she may be falling in love with the Scottish fellow she was forced to marry.

The Outlander series has proven a successful endeavor for Gabaldon, with over 20 million copies of her novels having been sold. In addition to the core Outlander novels, there exists a series of spin-offs and companion pieces, which will no doubt offer Moore a healthy supply of material should the series come to fruition. After the wild success that David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have had adapting the works of George R.R. Martin into HBO’s Game of Thrones, cable television is clearly on the prowl for more unique takes on familiar genres that would make for not only lucrative adaptations, but could also be seen lasting several seasons.

Lean Headey Peter Dinklage Game of Thrones The Old Gods and the New Ronald D. Moore To Adapt Outlander Book Series For TV

Will ‘Outlander’ translate as well as ‘Game of Thrones’?

For Moore, Outlander is another question mark in a succession of projects to which he’s been attached that have unfortunately gone nowhere. Recent endeavors like NBC’s 17th Precinct – which would have reunited Moore with several of his key Battlestar Galactica cast – the western Hangtown and a remake of the Wild, Wild West all failed to gain enough traction to see them to series.

Outlander‘s prospects are undoubtedly running high, considering the potential series comes with the promise of a built-in fan base and loads of material to work from. The complexities in the series’ plot seem tailor-made for Moore – who, lately, seems to gravitate toward genre mash-ups such as this – so news of this series stalling out would be surprising, to say the least. It will not be surprising, however, when names like Jamie Bamber, James Callis and Tricia Helfer start being tossed around in relation to potential casting for the show.


Screen Rant will keep you up to date on all the news surrounding Outlander as it is made available.

Source: Deadline 

Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. Oh, my wife’s gonna love this!

    • Not only is your “wife gonna” love this, but everyone I have talked to at work, we all have this series on audible and have all loved the books over and over again. It’s about time :)….

  2. Interesting. IIRC wasn’t this series one of SR top ten fantasy adaptation?

  3. Booooo freaking, BOOOOOO. TO much like The Time machine and Back to the Future. Kidding, will wait and see. Sounds interesting.

    • If you have not read the “Outlander” series, don’t judge the story. I am an avid fan of the new “BSG” remake series, and am quite happy that Ronald Moore is taking on this daunting task. What he did for “Battlestar Galactica” will ensure that this complex story will be as close to the books as possible.

  4. If Michael hogan is in this I’m on board

  5. I got excited for a second, then I realized they were talking about Outlander, not Outlanders. Who knows, might still give it a watch. At least with a book series adaptation we’ll know that he won’t be making it up as he goes, as he admitted he did with BSG.

  6. Chris Hemsworth for Jamie, PLEASE!

    • I think Chris Hemsworth has the eyes. Now the hair?

      • hair is easy to fix.. but i dig this choice

    • I think he pretty busy with a new Thor movie AND Snow White and the Huntsman…possibly…? I don’t think he will give up Hollywood movie money for cable tv series money…but who knows???

  7. Those suggestions for casting don’t work for me at all — they’re all too old for any of the main roles of Jamie, Jack/Frank, or Claire. Even with the magic of Hollywood, Jamie is supposed to look like a very young man.

    • Jen, I suspect you’re right about that, but they’d be excellent supporting cast, just as they were on BSG (although you’d be surprised what one can do w/makeup & training – one actress, Chelsea Hobbs, very successfully played a single, 17-year old Olympic gymnast, despite being a married, 28-year-old mother of two). I think if you dyed her hair brilliant red, Tricia Helfer with her stature and Nordic cheekbones would be the perfect adult Briana. Jamie Bamber and James Callis have already both played Scottish roles, so while both a little short to play Jamie or Dougal (especially if Trish plays Jamie’s daughter) there’s no shortage of Scottish or English roles they could perform – they are both versatile actors.

  8. I am very excited! Love the series! I know the time travel sounds unbelievable , but it’s written so well that you buy it.

  9. I will buy HBO just to watch this series… This will make all of you very wealthy.

  10. I will buy HBO just to watch this series. This will make all of you very wealthy.

  11. I have to agree with the Chris Hemsworth he is perfect for the young Jamie and a little make up and he can gracefully age.
    I Love Game of Thrones, and Pillars of the Earth also this will be awesome!
    I can’t wait!

    • I’ve read Pillars of the Earth and GoT both and was so excited about seeing them on screen. World Without End should be awesome too!

      Has anyone ever read Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel’s legacy series? Freakin’ AWESOME!!!! It has court intrigue and far off lands with different cultures like Game of Thrones, epic romance and action like Outlander and SERIOUS sex…some like 50 Shades…don’t hold that one against it though…lol! Honestly it is a WONDERFUL series and would make one heck of a TV series…read it!!!;)

  12. Emily Blunt would be a perfect Claire!! I’ve been waiting for this!!

    • She certainly was fabulous as playing the Queen in “The Young Victoria” although the scriptwriter might have some trouble removing references to Claire’s amber eyes (hair can be dyed and curled, and her blue eyes made brown or green w/contacts, but can blue be made amber?). She’s young, talented, VERY English, and has the correct stature. I guess the eyes and hair are important details to me as the books mention them every time Clair is described to someone. Also I had a pre-med lab partner who looked EXACTLY like I imagine Clair looked, so I KNOW women that look like her exist!

  13. my mother-in-law turned me on to this series 10yrs. ago and everytime a new book comes out i am there!!!!can”t wait to see it on the big screen-hopefully it is done in a tasteful way and shows the AWESOME andBEAUTFUL scenery that Scotland is known for!!

    • Did you know that there is a tour in Scotland just for Outlander fans?
      There is a blogger…if you google Outlander fan sites or something…the woman who runs it just took the tour and has pictures and descriptions of her trip. It really is BEAUTIFUL there…it HAS to be filmed ON LOCATION!!

  14. I can hardly wait. We launched this book from our small town bookstore and it was a sensation in our little corner of the world here in Texas. Hope I/m not disappointed in the actors playing Jamie and Claire.

  15. I thought I was the only one looking at Chris Hemsworth and thinking “Oh, my! Jamie Fraser!”. He would be so perfect…he has the sexiness, the emotion and passion, the thoughtful eyes, the tenderness and humour, the charm, the physical presence… Or my husband could play Jamie. He’s not an actor though. Yeah, Chris Hemsworth, please do this series, women will love you even more!

  16. Love the books —- love Chris Hemsworth —- can’t wait! :)

  17. Thank Goodness this incredible author will finally have her books given to an even larger audience. Thank You Diana !

  18. This would be a great series – I would watch it no matter how late!!!! I love the “Outlander” series & will eagerly await the series!! I have all the books so far – It’s like a drought when you have to wait for the next book, so I go re-read the series again – Gini

  19. YAY! I cannot wait to see this series. My friends will be thrilled!

  20. Delighted to hear this is in the works. So many times I or someone else has said this story should be a mini series. My pick for Claire would be Susan Sarandon. I think she would be marvelous in the role. I don’t have a pick for Jamie, haven’t been able to find anyone to fit the bill but you guys better get it right or I shall be very disappointed.

    • Sorry, there is NO chance of Susan Sarandon as Claire – she is WAY too old (and too tall). She might be believable as Aunt Jocasta in one of the later books.

      • I agree Susan Surandon is too…mature:)
        I think they’ll probably do a combo of actors like HBO did for Game of Thrones. They’ll need at least a few “known” actors for some parts to get people interested who aren’t fans of the books, and unknowns for others…??
        What about that Gemma (can’t remember her last name) who played the princess in Prince of Persia…also Eyo (sp?) in Clash of the Titans as Clair…obviously with wig? OR the actor who played “The Confessor” on the TV show Legend of the Seeker… a show I MISSS LIKE CRAZY!!! SOMEONE PLEASE PICK IT BACK UP!!!!!

        • Gemma arterton.. i do think she is beautiful but i don’t see her as claire.. her features are too.. ‘severe’? and i don’t say that negatively. i just picture Claire with more delicate graceful features… and powerful eyes… but I just found out about this, so i’ll prob change my mind 100 times. lol

  21. Looking forward to this very much. I just read the comments and agree about Chris Hemsworth for Jamie, Susan Sarandon for Clair…hmmm, though she is a great actress I dont picture her as Clair. It will be a very hard job to cast this story. I look forward to seeing the results (with some trepidation).
    Dose any one know when they are aiming for release??

    • I saw on her twitter… yesterday I think… someone asked if there was news on if a studio has picked it up yet. She said not yet but would post new as soon as she knows!
      Anyone else think a twitter campaign to let studios know there IS an audience for this NOW is a good idea…LOL!!!

  22. Chris Hemsworth is very pretty, but he is NOT Jamie! His nose is too small and he is too old! Jamie is only 23 in “Outlander.” I’m hoping they find a promising young (hopefully Scottish) actor to play him.

    • OMG I couldn’t believe it when I saw this. I hope they choose the actors well. They should seek out an actual actor from Scotland to play Jaime. There is a redhead on the Mentalist that would make a good Bree as well if they get that far in the series. I have been hesitant to want a movie out of these awesome books as I don’t think there are any actors that could do the books justice. I wish the guy that played Draco Malfoys father in Harry Potter wasn’t so old that he could play Black Jack as he would be good at that. Yahoo!

  23. THe problem with any recreation of a book is that it will never be as good. Iremember the first time i read the book, i related to claire so much with looks and interests in being a doctor. I think that if they were to make it into a movie the characters can change. And i think that that would be a big dissapointment to us all.

  24. How about Rachel Weisz as Claire?

    • I think Rachel Weisz is a great option for Claire. My thoughts for Jamie is Josh Holloway. I know he’s probably a little too old for young Jamie, but he definitely has the charm.

  25. Tahmoh Penikett for Jamie! (big? yes. Fair enough to pass for a ginger? yes. ‘cat’ eyes? oh heck yes. guaranteed viewership even for ladies who don’t know about Outlander yet? I think so.)

    • Funny, I was thinking about how they should make these books into a tv series yesterday…And I was thinking that Gemma Arterton would make a great choice for Claire. I do find she has delicate features and she can definitely pull off that defiance Claire has. I don’t know for Jamie. Even though he is supposed to be 23 in the first book, people back then looked older…or is it me? Tommy Flannagan as Murtagh, Jason Isaacs for Jack Randall, or perhaps Tahmoh Penickett, Deborah Ann Woll as Brianna.

  26. I am excited and apprehensive about this at the same time. I LOVE the Outlander book Series! It is so well written that you can’t tell the difference between the real characters and the fictional characters. They are written in such detail I hope that doing a TV series doesn’t butcher the book apart. I think it will be very challenging. But I think if anyone is up to the challenge it would be Ronald D. Moore.
    As for the cast, I am hoping for unknown actors from Scotland & England that can embrace the role and grow like we see the characters in Outlander grow. (kind of like the actors in Harry Potter) I think if you have famous actors like Chris Hemsworth the series won’t last long. Actors like Chris simply wouldn’t be able to spend as much time in the roles as this series deserves. Plus as good looking as he is Chris wouldn’t be suited as Jamie until maybe the 3rd or 4th book (as Jamie ages)