Fans of Netflix’s Sense8 can expect some major changes for the second season of the drama series.
If you haven’t watch it yet, Sense8 is about eight complete strangers who are scattered across the globe – America, Korea, England, Kenya, Germany, India, and Mexico – but find themselves mentally, emotionally, and spiritually connected.
Created in 2015 by famous filmmakers and siblings Lilly and Lana Wachowski with J. Michael Straczynski, the show’s complex and gripping storyline has amassed a huge fan base in its first season.
But for Season 2 of Sense8, Lana Wachowski is going solo – a first in her 20-year professional career shared with her sister.
Lilly, who just came out as transgender in March, is going to take a back seat for the time being to focus on her well-being.
‘Lilly needed to take some time off,’ Jamie Clayton, who plays American hacker Nomi on the show, told BuzzFeed News.
However, Lilly could return if Netflix says yes to a third season.
Another exit is a regular from Season 1: Actor Aml Ameen, who played Capheus, a bus driver in Kenya.
Fans are obviously upset about the sudden change, and some even speculated that Ameen might have an issue with the transgender community, which caused him to be taken off the show.
However, Clayton, who is transgender, quickly clarified that there’s no such thing:
‘I knew the fans would be concerned, but I wanted them to know that we were OK,’ she said.
Actress Tuppence Middleton, who plays Icelandic DJ Riley, also jumped in to clear the air: ‘It’s just a case of, creatively, two people having a really different idea of what they want to do.’
She added: ‘I think the most important thing is that Capheus’s storyline lives. He’s a great character, and it would be a real shame to have that go away.’
So who’s replacing Ameen? Toby Onwumere, a recent graduate of UC San Diego.
The actor joined Season 2 while it was already in production. He shared that he felt the deep connection his seven co-stars share when he first met them in Mexico City:
‘I remember going into the restaurant and … I saw the energy of this family immediately,’ he described to BuzzFeed News. ‘I stood back for a minute and thought, Wow. The testament to this show is when you see these people with this unified energy, you want to be a part of that. And that’s the message of the show: We are all connected. And I felt connected to them as soon as I got there.’
The cast would travel together through different cities and countries for more than half of the year to keep their ‘metaphorical hive mind’ in tune.
Doona Bae, who plays Korean kickboxer Sun, said she ‘felt connected to Toby quickly.’
‘We call it family, which sounds a bit weird, but we feel like family,’ she explained to BuzzFeed News. ‘The seven months traveling is not easy, and when you have to travel to 15 cities, it’s not easy. We need each other all the time. It’s like brothers and sisters, not like friends. There’s a sticky bond between us.’
The actors hope that fans would focus on the story they’re telling through their characters, and not care too much about what’s happening behind the scenes.
‘There’s a lot stranger things we’re doing than recasting an actor,’ Middleton remarked.
What else can fans expect from Season 2?
‘There’s more sex, more violence, more of everything! We’re pushing the boundaries,’ said Max Riemelt who plays German criminal Wolfgang.
Netflix has not yet announced a release date for season two of the show, but it’s expected to return some time end of this year.