Avengers director Joss Whedon has cast Belfast actress Laura Donnelly in the lead role for his new HBO sci-fi series The Nevers.

Deadline.com, which first reported Outlander star Donnelly's casting, says The Nevers follows a group of Victorian women with "unusual abilities, relentless enemies, and a mission that might change the world".

Donnelly will play the hot-headed Amalia True, a character described as "a menace to Victorian society" who "would die for the cause and kill for a drink".

Commenting on Donnelly's casting, Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Whedon said: "Laura Donnelly has charisma, wisdom and an anarchic precision that not only captures Amalia but defines her. She's fierce and she's funny - and I need both for the journey ahead."

The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron director Whedon will be behind the lens for The Nevers and has co-written the show with Buffy producers Jane Espenson and Doug Petrie. All three will serve as executive producers.

Donnelly, who played Jenny Fraser in Outlander, is a Best Actress Oliver Award winner for her performance in The Pillowman in London's West End, and will next be seen on screens in the JRR Tolkien biopic, Tolkien. It opens on Friday, May 3.

Click here for more television news.