Wilmer Valderrama has been on NCIS since season 14, but a major new announcement from the actor may result in Nick Torres’ departure from the team.
NCIS is currently on hiatus for the winter, taking a break from CBS viewers’ screens before returning in the New Year. Season 19 was a memorable one, with Agent Leroy Gibbs (played by Mark Harmon) quitting his job to start a new life in Alaska.
Another key character is rumored to be on his way out, and there is a huge clue to support the theory following star Wilmer Valderrama’s latest announcement.
Disney announced this week that it will revive the classic Zorro story with a live-action television series.
Fans of the story will most likely associate the role with Latino actor Antonio Banderas in the 1998 films The Mask of Zorro and The Legend of Zorro.
The series is set to premiere on Disney Plus next year, with actor Wilmer Valderrama filling the role of the masked vigilante.
The NCIS star will also be an executive producer on the show.
Valderrama stated in a statement: “Growing up, Zorro was the only character who made me feel like I could be a hero as a Latino.
“It’s a dream come true to be a part of the legacy that shows other children that they, too, can be the heroes of their own stories.”
This isn’t Valderrama’s first side project outside of his role as Nick Torres.
CBS announced earlier this year that he would also serve as an executive producer on the upcoming comedy Mexican Beverly Hills.
With two new projects requiring his attention, there are concerns that he will have less time to film NCIS.
It is well known that the drama’s filming schedule is demanding, which has caused some cast members to leave the show.
Sasha Alexander, who played Agent Kate Todd in the first two series, told TV Guide that filming 17 hours a day was “extremely difficult.”
Mark Harmon, the actor who played Gibbs, reduced his role ahead of Season 19 before leaving the show.
He told The Talk in 2017 that the “first day [of filming] was 21 hours.”
There has been no confirmation that Valderrama is leaving NCIS as of yet.
But, given how busy he’ll be with both Zorro and Mexican Beverly Hills, it could be an option.
A change in casting has also led fans to believe that the actor’s time is coming to an end.
He first appeared on NCIS with actress Emily Wickersham, who played his colleague and love interest Agent Ellie Bishop.
In season 18, Bishop resigned as a “disgraced” agent after allegedly leaking confidential information.
But this was all a ruse orchestrated by Odette Malone (Elayn Taylor), who asked her to take part in an undercover operation that would result in her leaving NCIS.
Torres and Bishop kissed before saying their goodbyes, seemingly confirming and ending their romance.
With Bishop gone, will Torres be ready to move on to greener pastures?
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