Wilmer Valderrama joined the NCIS cast as Nick Torres in season 14 following the departure of Michael Weatherly’s Tony DiNozzo. More actors have left television’s most-watched drama since then, including Mark Harmon (Leroy Jethro Gibbs), Emily Wickersham (Ellie Bishop), and Pauley Perrette (Abby Sciuto).
In recent months, rumors have circulated that Valderrama may be the next to depart. On social media, he’s even teased the “next chapter” of his career. Is it possible that Valderrama will depart from NCIS at the end of Season 19?
Wilmer Valderrama will play Zorro in the upcoming film.
Valderrama was announced as the next Don Diego de la Vega — aka Zorro — in a new reboot of the classic ABC drama that aired from 1957 to 1959 in late 2021.
According to Good Housekeeping, Valderrama stated in a statement that Zorro was an influential character in his childhood. He feels a responsibility as an adult to bring the story to life for a new generation of children.
“As a kid, Zorro was the one character who made me feel like I could be a hero as a Latino.” “I have a responsibility as an adult and a storyteller for the stories that I help bring to life,” Valderrama said.
“It’s a dream come true to collaborate with Gary [Marsh of Disney General Entertainment] and Disney to bring Zorro back into the family after 60 years and be a part of the legacy for other children to know they, too, can be the heroes of their own stories.”
The ‘NCIS’ actor teases his upcoming ‘next chapter.’
In late February, the 42-year-old actor shared a black-and-white Instagram video in which he carefully placed a black decal on a gym mirror. As Valderrama slowly peels off the backing of the decal, the song Brillo (which translates to Bright) by J Balvin and Rosala plays in the background. The image gradually reveals itself to be a silhouette of Zorro as the video progresses.
“Thanks to @seaweanie, I’ve found new motivation in the gym… as I begin my next chapter of training… “#MyHourADay,” Valderrama captioned the photo.
Fans flocked to the comments section to express their enthusiasm for the new series. “Wow!!!” wrote one fan. I can’t wait to see you as Zorro.” “I am so excited for this!!!!” said another.
When a Zorro fan “since the 1950s” begged Valderrama to do the character justice, the actor responded with a huge promise.
“As a long-time fan, I can assure you that it’s in good hands.” “I wouldn’t trust anyone else to play him except me,” Valderrama wrote.
Is Wilmer Valderrama departing from ‘NCIS’?
Fans are ecstatic about Valderrama’s new passion project. However, many are wondering if this means he will leave NCIS after season 19. There has been no official confirmation from the show or the network. And the actor has yet to respond to it.
It’s unclear when the Zorro reboot will begin filming, or if it will clash with the NCIS season 20 filming schedule. Zorro is currently in pre-production, according to Valderrama’s IMDB page.
Valderrama could film the reboot during the upcoming NCIS hiatus, assuming one exists. CBS has not yet announced whether or not the show will be renewed for a 20th season.
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