Julia Roberts’ time on Amazon’s “Homecoming” is over, at least in front of the camera.
The actress — who was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Drama TV Series for her role on the first season of the Amazon’s Prime Video drama — is not coming back in an acting capacity for Season 2, according to multiple reports, though she’ll remain on board as an executive producer.
While representatives for Amazon would not comment on her departure to TheWrap, an individual with knowledge of the production said she had only signed on to star on the first season, and that it’s possible she could appear on-screen in some capacity in the second season.
“Mr. Robot” creator Sam Esmail, who directed all 10 episodes, had previously told TheWrap that he deviated from the podcast-version of the storyline, in part to give Roberts’ character an ending. “We got together and sort of invented this new back half of the storyline and new ending for Heidi.”
“Homecoming” is based on Micah Bloomberg and Eli Horowitz’s two-season (12 episodes total) podcast for Gimlet Media, which centers on Heidi Bergman (Roberts), a caseworker at the Homecoming Transitional Support Center — a facility helping soldiers transition back to civilian life — and her work with one of those soldiers, Walter Cruz (Stephan James). The series also starred Bobby Cannavale, Shea Whigham, Alex Karpovsky and Sissy Spacek.
On the podcast version, Heidi spends the second season reluctantly teaming with the Geist Group to find Walter. Geist is the shadowy conglomerate backing the Homecoming project, which is working to cure military veterans of PTSD by physically erasing painful memories with an experimental drug. While Heidi is initially led to believe this is to help the veterans transition back to civilian life, the twist is that Geist is doing this so they can actually be sent back out into the field.
“I had only listened to the first six episodes, which sort of end in the middle of the Walter-Heidi story,” Esmail continued. “I really wanted to come to some sort of satisfying conclusion of Walter and Heidi’s journey together.”
The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news.