‘Suits’ Season 8: Katherine Heigl Begins Filming, Will Play Lead Role Post Meghan Markle, Patrick Adams’ Exit

Patrick J. Adams and Meghan Markle will not star in 'Suits' Season 8.

Actress Katherine Heigl at an event.
Cindy Ord / Getty Images

Patrick J. Adams and Meghan Markle will not star in 'Suits' Season 8.

Suits Season 8 will open without Patrick J. Adams’ Mike Ross and Meghan Markle’s Rachel Zane. Both the characters are set to say goodbye to the Specter Litt team and New York in Season 7 finale. And, in the upcoming new season, Katherine Heigl’s character will be stepping in to fill the void as the new lead player. The former Grey’s Anatomy actress has already begun filming for her role in Suits Season 8.

Katherine Heigl recently took to Instagram to reveal her character’s look. In the caption, she described her character, the mysterious Samantha Wheeler, as someone who is not a “shrinking violet” and who will be tough to beat both in the boxing ring and courtroom. The actress was apparently getting ready to film a kick-boxing scene for Suits Season 8.

She wrote: “Day 2 on the set of @suits_usa getting my hands wrapped for a kickboxing scene. My character #SamanthaWheeler is no shrinking violet! She’ll kick your a#* in the ring and in the courtroom! Love playing a girl with gumption!”

Earlier in January, TV Line reported that Katherine Heigl would be joining Suits Season 8 as a series regular. Her character will be introduced as the talented new partner at Specter Litt, the law firm headed by Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) and Louis Litt (Rick Hoffman). Katherine Heigl’s Samantha Wheeler is likely to shake things up at the firm as she will be seen challenging the status quo. Moreover, it looks like she will keep Harvey and Louis on their toes, making it difficult for them to figure out her real intentions. Samantha Wheeler will either become firm’s “greatest ally” or “most powerful enemy,” according to the report.

Speaking of Samantha Wheeler, Suits creator Aaron Korsh said that she would be a direct threat to Harvey and Louis’ status quo.

“One thing is for sure — Samantha’s wit, charm, loyalty, strength and vulnerability will all be put to the test as she muscles her way into the firm.”

In January, Patrick J. Adams and Meghan Markle confirmed their departure from the long-running legal series after the end of Suits Season 7. Both the actors have been part of the show since the pilot episode. Meghan Markle was expected to quit the show after her and British royal prince Prince Harry’s relationship became public. A few days after shooting her final scene for the series, the American actress announced her engagement to Prince Harry. She is set to get married on May 19.

Patrick J. Adams, on the other hand, apparently decided not to renew his contract because he wanted to explore other acting opportunities. Meghan Markle and Patrick J. Adams’ characters’ story arc is expected to end with their much-anticipated wedding in Suits Season 7 finale.

Suits Season 8 is likely to premiere sometime this summer. The two-hour Season 7’s season finale airs on Wednesday, April 25, on USA Network.