Sarah Drew Would Totally Love A Japril Spinoff With Jesse Williams, And Knows How She'd Want It To Be Different From Grey's Anatomy

Sarah Drew as April Kepner on Grey's Anatomy.
(Image credit: ABC)

Sarah Drew and Jesse Williams returned to Grey’s Anatomy for its Season 18 finale, thrilling fans with the reveal that their characters — Jackson Avery and April Kepner — had reunited. The fandom has been screaming for a Japril spinoff pretty much since Drew left the medical drama at the end of Season 14 (if not before that), and the yearning to see the couple’s life together in Boston is stronger than ever following their on-screen in-elevator kiss. The actors seem down for a spinoff, as well, as they’ve consistently voiced their love for the characters, but Drew has an interesting idea about how she’d want to differentiate their series from Grey’s Anatomy.

The idea of a spinoff featuring Jackson and April was actually one the actors pitched when they were both still on the show. Rather than giving them their own series, the writers turned their pitch into what is now known as “Japril The Movie,” a heartbreaking Season 12 episode. Sarah Drew returned for the Season 17 episode that announced Jesse Williams’ exit from Grey’s Anatomy, with April agreeing to accompany Jackson to Boston to continue co-parenting their daughter Harriet. Drew spoke with Tommy DiDario on Instagram about how she sees that story being continued:

In my dream world, it would be like a 10-episode kind of show where we could be somewhere that allows it to be a little darker, and a little grittier, a little sexier. That would be fun.

The Japril dynamic has been fun to watch, to say the least, but if they were the sole focus of the story, without the necessity of sharing screen time with a bevy of other Seattle surgeons, Jesse Williams and Sarah Drew would definitely have to dive deeper into Jackson and April’s complexities — much like they did for “Japril The Movie.” In that episode (officially “Unbreak My Heart”), Jackson served April with divorce papers, prompting a look at the highs and lows of their time together, with the episode ending with the reveal that April was pregnant again.

The history certainly exists for Sarah Drew and Jesse Williams to go darker and grittier with the characters. As far as sexier, let’s just say it’s a good thing Jackson and April are doctors, because I feel some heart palpitations coming on. 

The reason for their move to Boston — for Jackson to take over his family’s Catherine Fox Foundation to help provide better medical care to underserved communities — would also lend itself to some interesting and important content. Drew said that would be fun to tackle:

And I think that's what's really fun about these two characters...they're both right now kind of really living in their purpose. And they're out to change the medical field and to fight for medical justice. We haven't seen that out in the world yet. So, I think it could lend itself to really interesting, fun stories to tell.

After his exit from the show in 2021, Jesse Williams said he and Sarah Drew “would kill it” if given the chance to do a spinoff, and Grey’s Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo also said she gets why fans want to see more, and she’d watch them lead their own show. This seems to be an idea that fans (and the actors!) aren’t letting go of, so will somebody order this spinoff already? 

In the meantime, you can relive all the Japril drama on streaming, with Seasons 1-17 of Grey’s Anatomy available to Netflix subscribers, while Season 18 is available in full with a Hulu subscription

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.