Glenn Howerton, who plays Dennis Reynolds on 'It's Always Sunny'

‘It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia’: Dennis Is Leaving, So What’s Next For Him?

Now that Glenn Howerton is leaving It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, what’s next? More comedy? A Stephen King epic? The possibilities seem endless.

Over the past 48 hours, the pop culture annals of the internet have been ringing with the huge news that Glenn Howerton, the guy who plays Dennis Reynolds, is probably done acting on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, FX’s smash hit sit-com that Howerton himself helped create. It is not completely confirmed Howerton is leaving the show, which just wrapped up its 12th season, but Howerton himself told The Wrap that his hiatus from It’s Always Sunny becoming a permanent one is a very distinct possibility.

So if Howerton does indeed leave his Sunny brainchild, what will be next?

For starters, Deadline has already revealed that Howerton, along with comedian Patton Oswalt, has signed on to act in a comedy pilot being produced by NBC. In the project, he will play a disgruntled high school biology teacher who manipulates his students into taking revenge on his enemies. Which sounds similar enough to what It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s Dennis would do after leaving Paddy’s to be a direct spinoff. In other words, the role sounds like something Howerton can take on without deviating much at all from his It’s Always Sunny character persona.

The question is, will Howerton be able to break free from his “Dennis Reynolds” mold?

Most forums that contemplate the question agree that Howerton is a fine actor and could probably do a good job with a range of material. The problem is, his face is, in the minds of so many, already tied very tightly to Dennis. Howerton has starred in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia for all 12 seasons it has aired, and he has not appeared in much else of note.

There is little doubt that It’s Always Sunny will define Howerton’s acting career, but will it also limit his opportunities? There is no way to be sure, as Howerton has not announced any plans apart from the NBC pilot, but people are coming up with some very interesting proposals.

Maybe the most interesting idea for where Howerton could go from here is one found in the Reddit fan community for Stephen King, the popular horror author. One of King’s crowning achievements as a writer is the “Dark Tower” saga, a series of eight books that total over 4,000 pages. One of the main characters in the series is Eddie Dean, a smart-talking but cool-headed ex-drug addict who takes on some immense responsibility during the saga. The Inquisitr reported previously that the series is being made into both a movie and a TV show, and surely Eddie will be cast in there somewhere.

The Dark Tower is certainly a big departure from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, but one cannot deny the role is just similar enough to Dennis Reynolds to fit Glenn Howerton well.

“Great actor. Should they cast him, he’d more than nail the part,” said one commenter on the thread.

Of course, that is all just speculation. It has not even been announced that The Dark Tower is casting for Eddie Dean, not to mention anything about Howerton being in the running. It does provoke thought, though; what kinds of roles could Glenn tackle if he is to leave It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia? Will he stick to comedy or venture into other genres?

It looks like It’s Always Sunny is losing one of its stars, but, at the same time, the greater show biz seen is gaining a great actor. What are some roles you think would be perfect for Howerton? Make yourself heard in the comments section below.

[Featured Image by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP Images]