By JAMES GAGE
Julia Roberts will not be returning to the screen in her star role as Heidi Bergman on the hit Amazon show “Homecoming.”
The show is an adaptation of the podcast by Gimlet Media (created by Eli Horowitz and Micah Bloomberg) of the same title, following Bergman after she quits her job at the eponymous “Homecoming” secret government facility, which helps rehabilitate and transition soldiers back into civilian life.
Part of the rehabilitation process at the Homecoming facility involves a mysterious medication that makes soldiers forget their experiences in combat. Bergman herself takes this medication on the job and, when later questioned by the Department of Defense as to why she left her position at the facility, is unable to recollect the events that led to her decision.
Now, she must piece together the scraps of her scattered memory to understand the larger story she is concealing from everyone—even herself.
The Oscar-winning Roberts will not reprise her role as Bergman for season 2 because she only had a one-season deal to star on the show (which was ordered for a two-season commitment) according to information gathered by the Hollywood Reporter.
“Homecoming” was the first time Roberts had ever been a series regular on a show. The cast also includes Bobby Cannavale (“Ant-Man and the Wasp”) as Homecoming boss Colin Belfast, Stephen James (“Selma”) as Walter Cruz, Shea Whigham (“Vice”) as Thomas Carrasco and Sissy Spacek (“The Old Man and the Gun”) as Ellen Bergman, Heidi’s mother.
It has yet to be confirmed if the inaugural cast will return for season 2, or if Roberts is the only on-screen departure. Though she won’t be back in front of the camera, Roberts will serve as an executive producer for the second season alongside showrunner Sam Esmail.
The storyline of “Homecoming” season 2 will diverge from the original podcast, exploring a narrative line piqued in a post-credits scene that featured Colin Belfast and Geist Group superior Audrey Temple (Hong Chau) in an altercation that ends with Temple drinking some of the mysterious amnestic medicine.