Chicago Fire creator on recent cast exits: 'It's a natural progression'

It's all part of the process of growing, according to Michael Brandt.

CHICAGO FIRE -- "Barely Gone" Episode 12001 -- Pictured: (l-r) Miranda Rae Mayo as Stella Kidd, Kara Killmer as Sylvie Brett -- (Photo by: Adrian S Burrows Sr/NBC)
CHICAGO FIRE -- "Barely Gone" Episode 12001 -- Pictured: (l-r) Miranda Rae Mayo as Stella Kidd, Kara Killmer as Sylvie Brett -- (Photo by: Adrian S Burrows Sr/NBC) /

Chicago Fire has been hit with cast exits from seemingly every direction. Blake Gallo (Alberto Rosende) and Sylvie Brett (Kara Killmer) have left, Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney) has missed large stretches of the last two seasons, and Derrick Gibson (Rome Flynn) seems to have one foot out the door despite debuting a few episodes ago.

Michael Brandt assures fans change is normal

Chicago Fire - Season 12
CHICAGO FIRE -- "On The Hook" Episode 12005 -- Pictured: (l-r) Christian Stolte as Randy "Mouch" McHolland, Jake Lockett as Sam Carver, Miranda Rae Mayo as Stella Kidd -- (Photo by: Adrian S Burrows Sr/NBC) /

What's going on? Well, Chicago Fire creator Michael Brandt addressed the cast exits during a recent interview with MovieWeb. Brandt was promoting the film Arthur the King, for which he served as a writer, and he acknowledged that things are changing rapidly for firehouse 51:

"It's the natural progression of a successful network show, that there's turnover and actors wanna go do something else. Like I said, it is grueling."

Brandt, who has written 226 Chicago Fire episodes to date, drew comparisons between Killmer's exit and that of Lauren German a decade ago. Killmer's character was brought in to replace German's, and fans back then were leery of an outsider coming in. History will repeat itself with whoever comes in to fill Killmer's shoes.

Brandt likens Killmer's exit to Lauren German's

Lauren German
2017 Summer TCA Tour - Fox - Arrivals / JB Lacroix/GettyImages

While each of the characters who have been on Chicago Fire have been prominent, Brandt asserted that nobody is "irreplaceable", especially once a show hits a decade on the air. Keeping a franchise going strong means constantly finding fresh faces to keep things exciting.

The desire to keep things fresh is also why so many actors want to wrap up their time with Chicago Fire and try something different. Killmer has made it clear that she wants to challenge herself as an actress, since she has spent nine years playing one character, and Brandt is fully supportive:

"Kara, she had a really great long run. It's great to see her go, I'm interested to see what she does next."

Brandt hasn't said anything regarding the potential exits of Severide or Gibson, but it's worth remembering that the show has always done a great job of finding new talent, so we're hopeful for the future of 51!

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