Homecoming continues to keep us guessing, as today (Jan. 16) THR reports that Julia Roberts will not reprise her role as Heidi Bergman for the show’s second season.
Back in November, Roberts enigmatically told THR that, regarding Homecoming season two, she was “not prepared to confirm or deny her involvement one way or the other.” She reportedly only signed on for one season primarily because of the psychological thriller’s creative storyline.
This was the acclaimed actor’s first time as a regular on a TV series, a stint that earned her a Golden Globe nod in the Best Actress – Drama Television Series category. Roberts will stay on as an executive producer for the Amazon Prime show alongside showrunner Sam Esmail.
Her departure marks a definite veering away from the narrative of the Gimlet Media podcast on which the hit drama is based. The second season of the podcast focuses on Heidi’s search for Walter (played by Stephan James in the Amazon version). However, that arc has already been resolved on the Homecoming TV show.
Esmail told THR of this creative choice:
We’ve deviated from very much of the podcast, so [season two of] the podcast doesn’t really have anything to do with the way the show is going. We’re working on a second season, but we have a very different trajectory for our show. I think when I signed on, I had only listened to the first six episodes of the podcast, which is the first season, and then from there we deviated completely. The show starts out fairly close to the podcast, and in the back half of the season we really start to see the major shifts and differences from the podcast.
It remains to be seen whether there will be a further reshuffling of the cast, which includes James, Bobby Cannavale, Shea Whigham, Alex Karpovsky, Sissy Spacek and Hong Chau. However there’s still plenty to dig into in the Homecoming universe, as the finale’s mysterious post-credits scene featuring Colin Belfast (Cannavale) and Audrey Temple (Chau) left us with more questions than answers.