Departed 'Billions' Star to Return for Season 7

A Billions star who previously departed the series will return to the show for its forthcoming Season 7. Damian Lewis, who was one of the lead stars of the hit Showtime drama for its first five seasons, is coming back into the fold. Variety reports that he will be reprising his role as Bobby "Axe" Axelrod in half of the upcoming 12-episode season, which is still in production in New York.

Billions currently stars Paul Giamatti, Corey Stoll, Maggie Siff, David Costabile, Asia Kate Dillon, Condola Rashad, Jeffrey DeMunn, Sakina Jaffrey, and Daniel Breaker. Additionally, Toney Goins has been promoted to a season regular for Season 7. Showtime's official synopsis of the new episodes reads: "In season seven, alliances are turned on their heads. Old wounds are weaponized. Loyalties are tested. Betrayal takes on epic proportions. Enemies become wary friends. And Bobby Axelrod returns, as the stakes grow from Wall Street to the world."

When fans last saw Axe, he was fleeing the United States and being welcomed by the Swiss authorities, where he was certain to face less serious penalties for his financial crimes than he would in America. Following the big exit, Lewis spoke with The NY Times, telling the outlet, "There's an opportunity maybe for me to return. But for now, broadly speaking, Axe has been vanquished."

Billions co-showrunner Brian Koppelman also spoke to the Times, offering his perspective on the creative reasons behind why Lewis chose to leave the show. "Damian Lewis is not an actor who's scared the audience is going to dislike him," Koppelman said. "He is willing to play the character in as caustic a manner as the character requires, and he has faith that if he's true to that, it will connect with the audience." 

Notably, some thought one of the most significant factors in Lewis' decision seemed to stem from the tragic death of Lewis' wife, Helen McCrory, who passed away in April 2021. However, the actor clarified that he had originally only signed up to appear in five seasons of Billions, as he "always just assumed that would be enough." Koppelman confirmed that having Axe leave the show was something they had intentionally been building toward for many years, but also noted that the producers were very sensitive to his family's loss. "We wouldn't ask him to come to America in that situation — right after the love of his life passed away, who was a remarkable, incredible artist and human being."

"It's Damian's private life, so it's not really ours to comment on," he continued. "We just feel truly, unbelievably lucky to have had five years with Damian Lewis and Paul Giamatti together." Billions Season 7 does not currently have an announced premiere date.