In a shocking twist, Damian Lewis has exited “Billions” after five seasons on the financial drama with season 6 now set to debut in January…
SPOILERS AHEAD IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE “BILLIONS’ SEASON 5 FINALE
Bobby Axelrod has left the building.
In a shocking move, Damian Lewis has officially exited “Billion” after five seasons playing financial wizard Bobby Axelrod.
According to series co-creators Brian Koppelman and David Levian, they’ve actually been working towards Lewis’ exit for several years after he expressed a desire to spend more time at home with his family in England. Sadly, Lewis also lost his wife, actress Helen McCrory earlier this year after a battle with cancer but the creative team behind “Billions” already had planned on writing out Axelrod as a character as far as three seasons ago.
“We started talking to Damian about it three years ago,” Koppelman said when speaking to EW. “And we’re incredibly sensitive to talking about… I mean, he lost his wife, who was a wonderful person and a great artist.
“But I would say for a variety of reasons we started talking to him three years ago and he expressed the thought that in all likelihood he would want to be spending more time with his family and really be more in England at the end of a certain period of time, and could we start planning Axe’s departure from being a regular on the show.”
As the story ended for Lewis’ Bobby Axelrod — he ended up transforming his investment firm into a bank, which put him directly in the crosshairs of his rival, New York State Attorney General Chuck Rhoades.
Chuck ended up orchestrating a plan that saw Axe welcome marijuana money into his bank but he failed to vet the company he was working with and it turns out the legal drug dealers were still doing plenty of illegal business on the side. As a result, Axe was on the line for money laundering and drug trafficking charges, which means he could have been looking at 15 to 20 years behind bars.
Ultimately, Axe knew he couldn’t escape the law this time and he ended up selling his company to his greatest rival Mike Prince (played by Corey Stoll, who will become a series regular in season 6) and he goes on the run to Switzerland.
While there’s always a chance that Lewis could return to play Axe again in a brief appearance or cameo on the series, his time as a regular on “Billions” is over.
“There’s an opportunity maybe for me to return,” Lewis told the New York Times. “But for now, broadly speaking, Axe has been vanquished.
“I don’t like closing chapters. But it does feel like it’s the end of that for now.”
Prior to his role on “Billions,” Lewis starred on the Showtime series “Homeland” for three seasons and prior to that he made his debut to American audiences while playing a role on the HBO event series “Band of Brothers.”
Thank you @SHO_Billions thank you @briankoppelman @DavidLevien. A pleasure and a privilege to play Axe for 5 seasons with some of the smartest, funniest most talented cast and crew I’ve worked with. I’ll miss the Billions family. Yep, some jobs are more than just a job…. Love.
— Damian Lewis (@lewis_damian) October 4, 2021
Now Lewis is anxious to spend time at home with his teenage children while already plotting a new role in the series “A Spy Among Friends,” which is a British cold war drama that will obviously be shooting in England. That’s where Lewis plans to stay for the foreseeable future as he says goodbye to “Billions” for good.
What an incredible joy to spend five years working so closely with the great @lewis_damian ! @DavidLevien and I are beyond grateful to you, Damian, for the work, of course, and the fellowship, and for all you sacrificed to come do this with us.
— Brian Koppelman (@briankoppelman) October 4, 2021
As for the series — “Billions” will continue with Corey Stoll taking over the other lead role opposite Paul Giamatti with season 6 already set for debut on Jan. 23. The first teaser for the new season can be seen above as Chuck Rhoades now makes Mike Prince his biggest target as he seeks to bring down another billionaire, who thinks he’s too big to fail.
Check out the teaser and get ready for “Billions” season 6 on Jan. 23, 2022.