Deadline is reporting that Monáe is set to lead the Amazon show’s Season 2, following the departure of Julia Roberts. Monáe’s character will represent the addition of a new storyline to the story, which will still tie into the first season’s theme of lost memories.
Roberts played Heidi Bergman, an employee at a facility ostensibly designed to help rehabilitate military veterans. As the season progressed and the show moved in parallel storylines, Heidi began to uncover the truth behind the work she’d done there. Monáe’s storyline will reportedly find her playing a woman searching for answers behind who she is and why she was left to drift in a canoe all by herself.
Even with the change from Roberts to Monáe, there’s still room for many of the Season 1 characters to return. A post-credits scene at the end of Season 1 seemed to hint that Hong Chau’s character was being positioned for a more central role as the show went forward. As of now, Roberts is the only cast member confirmed for not returning, leaving the door open for Chau, Bobby Cannavale, Shea Whigham, and Stephan James to come back.
While Roberts’ casting was initially seen as a likely awards play for this year’s Emmys season, the series was shut out on nominations morning last week. This will be Monáe’s first main TV role after previously appearing in films like “Moonlight” and “Hidden Figures.” Before and during her TV and film career, Monáe also maintains a prolific music career, most recently with her 2018 album “Dirty Computer.”
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“Homecoming” was given a two-season order at the beginning of the show, but the TV series has not necessarily followed the pace of the Gimlet podcast it’s adapted from. The end of the Roberts season incorporated some of the elements of the podcast’s second season, leaving room for the second batch of episodes to follow this new plot thread.
Monáe’s casting still leaves a vital piece to “Homecoming” Season 2 unfilled. With series director Sam Esmail moving on to finish up the final season of “Mr. Robot,” his replacement has still not been named. Eli Horowitz and Micah Bloomberg, who created the original podcast, remain showrunners of the series.