Michael Weatherly’s sudden exit from NCIS shocked fans in 2015, but fans are convinced the actor is “ready to come back” after hinting at his return in a new post.
Former NCIS star Michael Weatherly, who played Anthony ‘Tony’ DiNozzo for 13 years, seems poised to make a surprise return to the show after whipping fans into a frenzy earlier this year.
On Twitter, the 55-year-old reminisced on his infamous moments with Mark Harmon’s character Leroy Gibbs as he re-enacted the “DiNozzo/Gibbs slap” with a pal sitting in her lifeguard chair.
Fans are convinced the snap is a hint that the actor will be returning to his ic onic role after his sudden exit seven years ago.
One commented: “You certainly look ready to play DiNozzo again. Hoping this is hint & that you are trying to get people ‘fired up’…glad too see you are doing so well & enjoying life.” (sic)
Another instructed the actor: “Well get back on the show. We need you and Gibbs back. And Zeva. Otherwise honestly the show will fail.”
— Michael Weatherly (@M_Weatherly) July 23, 2023
Many fans also shared gifs of the countless DiNozzo/Gibbs slaps over the 13 years they shared the screen together.
Viewers have been anxiously awaiting news on whether Michael will actually be returning to the show after he shared a major teaser on New Year’s Day.
As the actor rang in the New Year, a fan begged for an on-screen reunion between Michael and Cote de Pablo’s characters, to which he quickly replied: “Stay tuned… for this might be an interesting year for such moments!”
Although Michael’s exit after the season 13 finale in 2016 was sudden, the star emphasised at the time that it wasn’t because of any bad blood behind the scenes but rather that he just needed a break.
He told TV Insider at the time: “It came about at the right time. I was burnt out by NCIS and I was ready for a new challenge. Sometimes change is as good as a rest.”
At the time, he told TV Insider he had been thinking about this break since Cote, who played his character’s love interest Ziva David, left the show in season 11 saying he missed his sparring partner.
He shared: “Their great dynamic, the badinage and sparring and flirting between those two characters and how they would swing from siblings to near lovers and back to buddies, that was gone.”