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November of 2019 was the last time Grey's Anatomy fans got to see Justin Chambers portray Dr. Alex Karev, who had been one of the few remaining original characters still on the series during Season 16. Chambers announced his departure from the show in January of 2020, with him providing a voice over for Episode 16 in early March that finalized Karev's time on the medical drama, in an exit that angered many viewers. Now that all of that's well behind him, though, Chambers is headed back to TV to play a very different role: Marlon Brando.
News from Deadline says that Justin Chambers has now signed on to play movie legend Marlon Brando in the Paramount+ limited series, The Offer. The show will take audiences into the behind the scenes story of The Godfather, Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 classic mob movie, which was nominated for 11 Oscars, winning three, including one for Brando, who won Best Actor. The Offer is based on producer Al Ruddy’s time making the film, and is set to be a 10-episode series.
Alright, I know that a lot of fans are probably incredibly surprised by this development, but that's only because Justin Chambers is so entrenched in our brains as Alex Karev. His exit from the show may have been very sudden for us, but it did come after he was in the Grey's Anatomy cast for a whopping 15 years and 350 episodes as one of the leads of the series. My guess, actually, is that this is exactly why Chambers would have jumped at a chance to play such a different role, and to tackle the challenge of playing not just a real person but one who continues to be very much a legend.
And, if you think that one stumbling block is that Chambers looks nothing like Marlon Brando, well, I beg to differ. Take a look at a side by side shot of Justin Chambers and Marlon Brando, and you'll probably see what I mean:
I mean, it's uncanny, right? That's a screenshot of an interview Marlon Brando did in June 1973, after declining to accept his Oscar for The Godfather, and the resemblance is certainly there. If you add in the fact that Justin Chambers is actually a teensy bit older now than Brando was when he filmed the movie (Chambers is currently 50, Brando was about 46), and this really seems like a case of the right part coming along at the right time for Chambers.
While Karev and his wife, Jo, were definitely having some problems during Season 16 of Grey's Anatomy, fans didn't see an exit coming at all from long-time star Justin Chambers, and, neither did at least some of the cast or crew. At the time, Chambers explained that he simply wanted to "diversify my acting roles and career choices," and noted that he'd wanted to do that for a while and that there's never really a "good time to say goodbye" to a character and job that one's had for so long. With Chambers' new role in The Offer as Marlon Brando, it would certainly seem he's well on his way to switching things up in his career.
Justin Chambers will star in The Offer alongside an impressive cast, which includes Miles Teller as Ruddy, and Dan Fogler as Coppola, Matthew Goode, Giovanni Ribisi, Colin Hanks, Juno Temple, and Lou Ferrigno. There's no release date set just yet, but for what you can watch in the meantime, check out our 2021 summer TV schedule!