Luke Grimes Exits HBO’s ‘True Blood’; Role Will Be Recast

Brooding vampire James will be back on True Blood next season, but the actor who plays him, Luke Grimes, won’t. The role will be recast. Ever since production on  Fifty Shades Of Grey was pushed by a month to December 2, there had been concern whether Grimes — who was cast as Christian Grey’s brother Eliott in the movie — would be able to do True Blood, which starts production on its seventh and final season in January. True Blood showrunner Brian Buckner had big plans for James, which was introduced in Season 6 as a vampire whom Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) met while she was locked up at Governor Burrell’s camp. Grimes was promoted to regular heading into Season 7, and Buckner in August told EW that Season 6 had only “scratched the surface” of what Grimes can do as an actor. According to TV Line, which broke the news of Grimes’ exit, the actor asked to be let out of his contract after reading Season 7 scripts and being disappointed by the direction James was taking away from Jessica. “Luke Grimes will not be returning as James in True Blood,” HBO said. “The role of James is being recast due to the creative direction of the character.”

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