'Homecoming' Season 2 Will Not Be Directed By Sam Esmail

Sam Esmail did a hell of a job directing the exciting first season of Amazon's Homecoming. But someone else is going to have to take the reins for season 2. Esmail will not be directing the second season, marking the second big change to the show – original star Julia Roberts isn't returning, either. As a big fan of the first season, all of this makes me a little nervous. More on Homecoming season 2 below.

Just what is going on with Homecoming season 2? Earlier this year it was revealed Julia Roberts, the star of season 1, would not be coming back for season 2 of the Amazon series. Now, Variety reports that Sam Esmail, director of the entire first season, won't be coming back either. Esmail and Roberts will both remain as executive producers on the series, but that might just be a contractual title.

Homecoming was inspired by the podcast of the same name, created by Eli Horowitz and Micah Bloomberg. While the podcast served as a jumping-off point, the TV series deviated from the original storyline considerably. Esmail commented on this when asked if season 2 of the show would follow the podcast story:

"We've deviated from very much of the podcast, so [season two of] the podcast doesn't really have anything to do with the way the show is going. We're working on a second season, but we have a very different trajectory for our show. I think when I signed on, I had only listened to the first six episodes of the podcast, which is the first season, and then from there we deviated completely. The show starts out fairly close to the podcast, and in the back half of the season we really start to see the major shifts and differences from the podcast."

Season 1 ended in a satisfying way, leaving things both open-ended and somewhat resolved – if that makes any sense. As a result, it's not clear just how season 2 will unfold. With Roberts gone, is the series going to tell a whole new story, with new characters? Or will the other characters besides Roberts return? Season 1 had a post-credit scene featuring a surprising reveal involving a character played by Hong Chau (no spoilers – go watch it). Esmail previously told TV Line that this post-credit scene was "a hint of things to come in Season 2."

For now, everything remains a mystery. Two of the highlights of season 1 were Roberts' performance, and Esmail's stylish direction. Removing both of those elements from season 2 makes me wary, but I'm willing to see where this all goes. No word yet on when Homecoming season 2 will premiere.