Torrance Coombs Leaving ‘Reign’ and CW In Favor Of ABC?

Torrance Coombs has made Reign fans upset. He will be leaving the show and the VW network in favor of a new show on ABC. Coombs confirmed it yesterday on Twitter, as reports circled that he will be starring in Still Star Crossed.

The Canadian-born actor has been part of Reign from the very beginning, playing Francis’ half-brother and Mary’s Season 1 love interest, Bash. He was the love child of Henry and Diane, Henry’s mistress. While Diane and Henry were based on real people in 16th Century France, there is no evidence to support Bash, meaning he was created for the show, and some history fans tuned out because of this. However, The Tudors fans eagerly tuned in, as he had previously played Katherine Howard’s ill-fated love interest Thomas Culpepper in the fourth season of the show.

Now he is moving into another period drama, Still Star Crossed, based on a book by Melinda Taub, according to Deadline. The book is set in Verona in the 16th Century — Coombs seems to enjoy playing roles in this era — and is technically a sequel to Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare. It picks up after the suicides of the two star-crossed lovers, as the families deal with the deaths of their children and find out that the two were in love.

Torrance will play the role of the initial villain, Count Paris, but viewers will learn to accept and like him throughout Season 1, according to some reports. He was due to marry Juliet Capulet, and even though they had never met, he would do his duty as was expected at the time. Now that he has found out about her death — and her love for a Montague — he will come to Verona to pay his respects.

Deadline stated that Torrance Coombs’ role is only for a season, which means that he could return to Reign at some point. The actor has not closed the door on the opportunity, so it sounds like his character will not die during the Season 3 finale. Reign fans were already disappointed at losing Toby Regbo during the current season, even though they knew that, in order for the series to work with history, that would have to happen.

Losing Bash, and therefore Coombs, does make sense. Mary will need to return to Scotland now that her husband has died, as she did in real history. She will need to take control of her country, and that means leaving the French Court and the people there behind. Bash could easily make a reappearance if he needed to see Mary and work with her on Scottish-French matters, or if he and his wife Kenna rekindled their relationship, assuming Kenna will come back into the story and return to Scotland with Mary.

Many Torrance Coombs fans have congratulated the actor on his new role with ABC. He will star alongside Wade Briggs, an Australian actor whose character is a Montague betrothed to a Capulet, to bring an end to the fighting between the two houses. Fans are a little worried about Reign though, suggesting that without him the show will crash and burn, as it has struggled with ratings during its third season. Others are not too certain about their favorite actor playing a villain, even if he does become likeable during Still Star Crossed.

Coombs’ new show will be executively produced by Grey’s Anatomy‘s Shonda Rhimes and Heather Mitchell. Mitchell is also writing Still Star Crossed, according to TV Line. This is also a chance for newcomer Ebonee Noel to show off her skills, as she plays the sister of Rosaline, who is supposed to be more beautiful than Romeo’s initial love interest in the play.

[Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images]