Local actor Grant Bowler has been cast as a lead in a new US science-fiction show.

Known for performances locally in Blue Heelers and The Mole and across the Pacific in Ugly Betty and Lost, the Australian actor will be seen on Syfy series Defiance.

The live-action drama is penned by Farscape creator Rockne S. O’Bannon.

“Grant’s charismatic charm and his depth as an actor make him the perfect anchor as we build the ensemble for this sweeping adventure series,” Syfy’s president of original content Mark Stern said in a statement.

"We’re very excited to have him join us on this incredible journey."

Directed by Scott Stewart (Legion, Priest), the series is set on a future earth where humans and aliens are living together on a planet ravished by decades of war and transformed by alien terra-forming machines.

Bowler plays Jeb Nolan, a former marine and law keeper in a bustling frontier boomtown that is one of the new world’s few oasis of civility and inclusion. Nolan fought in the alien conflict and suffered the loss of his wife and child in the war.

A video-game will be released in conjunction with the series to offer more of an experience.

Bowler, a Kiwi-born actor who graduated from NIDA in the early-'90s, also stars in recent action film Killer Elite, alongside Robert De Niro and Clive Owen. The film, which hasn't particularly done well in the US, is expected to open in Australia next month. Other recent projects include True Blood, Atlas Shrugged: Part 1 and City of Gardens, where he essentially plays Jesus Christ. He told IF in late-2010 that it was "frightening" to portray "the son of god" but that it was a rewarding experience.

Defiance is expected to go into production in April (in Toronto, Canada).

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