Colton Haynes shocked Teen Wolf fans last month when he confirmed that he would not be returning for the third season of the MTV scripted series. But members of the cast were dumbfounded by the sudden news, as well.
“We found out when everyone else did, when it hit -- I think there was a tweet or something,” Crystal Reed told reporters at MTV’s "Restore the Shore" fundraiser in NYC last Thursday night. “I didn’t think that it was actually gonna happen…it was shocking for me.”
While the exact reason for Haynes' departure was not officially confirmed, rumors implied that contract negotiations with the network had broken down despite a "lucrative offer" from MTV -- something that the actor had reportedly dealt with prior to season two, as well.
“There was talk about him doing this after the first season so we were kind of used to it, but then it actually happened,” said Tyler Posey. “It definitely sucks, it’s definitely weird. It’s gonna be weird to film it without him, but we have a good group of people on our show and we’ll survive.”
Though Haynes won’t be playing Jackson Whitmore when filming begins on Dec. 3, his former co-stars reassure fans that their parting is only professional.
“I feel like it won’t even feel like he’s gone – he’ll probably be still hanging out with us on set and still come to our parties when the show’s on,” Dylan O’Brien told reporters. “We’re still really good friends with him and we’re still gonna hang out with him…we wish him good luck, and we’re still gonna see him always.”
Double the episode count of its previous seasons, season three of Teen Wolf will kick off with a time lapse in the storyline of four months, complete with a concise explanation for Jackson's leave in the first episode, noted Reed. But don't expect executive producer Jeff Davis to make Jackson's absence permanent, as sources previously told E! News that "Colton could come back still."
Following news of Haynes' exit from the show, early reports stated that the actor was up for a role in a network pilot. Sources told The Hollywood Reporter, however, that Haynes was actually in the process of booking a movie role.
“He’s always wanted to do network television dramas,” said O’Brien of Haynes' potential endeavors. “He wants to win Emmys and I think he can. He will.”
Added Reed, “I really love him and I wish him the best.”
Additional reporting by Sophie A. Schillaci.