UPDATE 3/4/10: At last week’s PaleyFest, Darlton said Mr. Eko was not coming back, according to an article in TV Guide. (Warning: the TV Guide article is FULL of spoilers.)
UPDATE 5/28/10 Kristin dos Santos at E! Online is reporting that unnamed “ABC and Lost insiders” told her that Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje was offered a spot in the finale, but he turned it down because it wasn’t enough money — and that he had asked for five times as much as what was offered.
original post below:
Season 6 seems to be shaping up to be a big reunion for formerly dead characters.
One character I never thought we’d see again, though, is Mr. Eko. Word was that Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, who played Mr. Eko, had quit the show, forcing the producers to ditch the storyline they had planned and to kill off the character prematurely.
Yet in a recent video interview with the British magazine site Empire, Akinnuoye-Agbaje was coy. He didn’t say he was coming back, but he definitely wasn’t ruling it out:
Q: So what are you working on next. There’s rumors of LOST …
AAA: Yeah, I just shot a guest episode with Tony Shalhoub from Monk, and yes, there are rumors circulating about LOST. I don’t know where they are coming from, but they are building up, yes. You know, with that show anything can happen, and the fans really liked Mr. Eko. It might be nice to see him wield the stick one more time.
Back in November 2006, the day after Mr. Eko died on the show, USA Today reported that “Akinnuoye-Agbaje asked to be written off the series. After losing both parents last year, he wanted to return to his London home and work on a film he’ll direct.”
Two years later, at the 2008 Screenwriting Expo, Damon Lindelof gave a slightly different version of the story, saying that Akinnuoye-Agbaje had not liked living in Hawaii:
Discussing how Mr. Eko became a much shorter-lived character than originally intended, Lindelof noted how it stemmed from actor Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, who did not like living in Hawaii. Lindelof said, ” Our Mr. Eko plans very quickly derailed. Adawele’s unhappiness was almost instantaneous. On his second episode, he was expressing extreme dissatisfaction.” This led to them quickly changing Mr. Eko’s storyline to one that would only last one season. Asked what might have happened with Eko had he been the long term character he was going to be, Lindelof answered, “Originally he was going to be someone who challenged Locke for the spiritual leadership of the castaways.”
Whatever happened back then, Adewale seems interested in coming back to the show now. If we are lucky, all will be forgiven, he will be invited back, and perhaps we will finally find out how his original story would have ended.
Picture of Mr. Eko is a promotional still (c) ABC, via Lostpedia