The much-anticipated reunion of Elliot Stabler and Olivia Benson is coming soon, Christopher Meloni assured ahead of the premiere of his new spinoff, Law & Order: Organized Crime, in which he will reprise his beloved character from Law & Order: Special Victims Unit for the first time in nine years. During Wednesday's episode of The Talk, the actor opened up about how former co-star Mariska Hargitay will be making a guest appearance on Organized Crime.
"Oh yeah!" Meloni confirmed when asked if Benson would be making a cameo on the spinoff. "How much? I don't know, because I hear she has her own day job. I think whatever we can slice away, whatever the writers come up with. I think we will both be looking forward to playing with each other in each other's sandbox." In Law & Order: Organized Crime, Stabler returns to the New York Police Department as the city and law enforcement are in the midst of dramatic changes, forcing the lawman to shift his old ways in order to adapt to the new criminal justice system as he leads a new task force taking on the city’s most powerful criminal syndicates.
Asked if Stabler is a "changed man" since his exit from SVU in 2012, Meloni said, "Yeah, absolutely. I mean, you have to." He continued, "There are a lot of unanswered questions about how he left, why the silence vis-à-vis Olivia Benson. I think, in real terms, society, and what we are dealing with in society, has changed dramatically. So, I think you have to address that. And, I think the person Elliot was, I think we all evolve. I think all those things are going to be put into play."
Asked by Entertainment Tonight last week why he decided to return to the role of Stabler after nearly a decade, Meloni explained that "a certain piece just fell into place" that made now the right time, versus opportunities presented in the past. "For me, there were just personal things that I was like, 'You know, now is a good time.' That was it. There was nothing secret. It just was effortlessly correct," he continued of deciding to return to his iconic role. "It's one of these [things where] I felt like I believed in the stars and all that… I'd go, 'Oh, the stars are telling me you know but because it was just right.'"