‘Outlander’ Season 3 Production Delayed Due To Caitriona Balfe’s Mystery Illness, Will The Season Premiere Happen On Time?

This year’s Droughtlander might be longer than expected.

Production for Season 3 of Outlander is supposed to be under way, yet reports indicate that filming has been officially delayed for the time being.

How will this impact the premiere date for the new season?

According to MNR Daily, Caitriona Balfe’s health is the main reason behind the recent delays in production.

Balfe stars opposite of Sam Heughan on the hit series and plays the lead role of Claire.

The source of Balfe’s illness is unknown, though the timing could negatively affect the release date for Season 3.

Caitriona Balfe won big at the 2016 People's Choice Awards. [Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images] Caitriona Balfe’s illness could delay the season premiere. [Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]Starz has yet to announce when Season 3 of Outlander will premiere, though estimates put the show’s return in early 2017.

If Balfe is out of work for too much longer, than Outlander’s return could be pushed back several weeks.

However, Balfe’s health has not been confirmed, and it is possible that production has not been delayed.

Indeed, Ecumenical News is reporting that Balfe is not sick and production for the new season is still running on schedule.

Hopefully, the rumors of production delays are not accurate and fans can expect Season 3 of Outlander to return to Starz on time.

Meanwhile, a lot of changes are ahead for the upcoming season of Outlander.

Not only will Jamie and Claire experience an increase in age this time around, but fans can also expect to be introduced to some exciting and pivotal characters in the series.

Season 2 left off with Claire traveling into the future while Jamie prepared for the Battle of Culloden.

Claire thought Jamie died in the battle and discovered that he was alive some twenty years later.

'Outlander' 'Was Robbed' Of 2016 Emmy Nominations Claims 'Game Of Thrones' Author George R.R. Martin [Image via Starz] Jamie sent Claire back to the future in the Season 2 finale of ‘Outlander.’ [Image via Starz]This means that fans will see a much older version of the Jamie and Claire when Outlander returns for another year.

It also means that Claire needs to travel back in time to reunite with Jamie.

According to Movie News Guide, producer Maril Davis was recently asked about the highly anticipated reunion and revealed that they still haven’t worked it out yet.

“You know what, we’re still kind of figuring that out. We’re mapping it out, but I feel like we will stay fairly consistent to the books,” she explained.

“In season three, we’re talking about Claire’s decision of whether or not to go back and there are challenges there, so the door I think is still open for that,” she added, referencing Claire’s interactions with her daughter next season.

The upcoming season is based on the third book in Diana Gabaldon’s hit series, titled Voyager.

In the books, Jamie and Claire reunite and travel across the ocean, far away from their native Scotland.

However, before the time-traveling couple reignites their romance, Jamie meets an old friend along the way.

In fact, fans can expect the new season to introduce the grown up version of Lord John Grey.

Lord Grey played a significant part in the novels and Gabaldon even wrote a few spin-offs for the popular character.

In the TV series, fans were introduced to a young version of Lord Grey in Season 2.

Outlander Spoilers: Will Brianna learn that Jamie is her real father? Briana and Roger will play major roles in Season 3 of ‘Outlander.’ [Image via Starz]It isn’t known who will end up playing Lord Grey this time around, though the casting process for the new season has officially started.

At the same time, rumors hint that a beloved character might die in the new season.

Which character will be killed off when Outlander returns to TV?

It has not been confirmed, but Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix) will reportedly meet his end at some point in Season 3.

Last season, Murtagh and Jamie developed a close friendship with each other. Unfortunately, Murtagh may not have survived the Battle of Culloden, which was also supposed to take Jamie’s life.

Season 3 of Outlander is expected to premiere in early 2017.

[Photo by Laura Cavanaugh/Getty Images]