Though she will remain as an executive producer for the Amazon series, Julia Roberts will not be reprising her starring role in Homecoming Season 2. THR reports that Roberts only ever signed on for a one season commitment, although the show was picked up for two. Amazon has not commented on whether or not any of the other Season 1 cast, including Stephan James, Bobby Cannavale, Shea Whigham, Alex Karpovsky and Sissy Spacek, will be back or not.
In the second season of the Gimlet Media podcast on which the series is based, Heidi (played by Roberts in Amazon’s series) searches in vain for Walter. But Amazon’s version, directed by Sam Esmail (who is at the helm of the series) seemed to conclude that story in the first season, as Heidi is able to find Walter — though their continued connection remains ambiguous. Esmail told THR that,
“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.”
Roberts returning in a guest role has not been ruled out, but it seems like for the most part Heidi’s story has ended, and the new focus will be on exploring the shady dealings of the Geist Group. In many ways, that feels very similar to shift between Seasons 1 and 2 of Mr. Robot, where more time was spent on the intricacies of this shadow corp and the soulless shells who run it.
Though the first season of Homecoming was pretty universally lauded, I was the cheese who stood alone in not liking it (to quote Family Guy, it insists upon itself). So maybe with this major shift in storytelling, I’ll pull a Fargo and enjoy Season 2 more than Season 1. Although, if it’s really going the way of Mr. Robot Season 2 … maybe not!