'General Hospital' Makes Major Casting Move

General Hospital fans are used to seeing the drama of Port Charles play out in front of the cameras, but an unexpected behind-the-scenes twist broke on Monday. Marcus Coloma, who has played Prince Nikolas Cassadine since 2019, is reportedly leaving the series before he can film his final scenes. Coloma is the fifth of six actors to play Nikolas.

Coloma reportedly declined to film his last scenes after he was told his contract would not be renewed, sources told Daytime Confidential. The sources said Coloma was being "written out," but it is unclear if Nikolas will be recast. The airdate for Coloma's final episode has not been announced and General Hospital producers have not commented on the news, reports Soap Central.

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(Photo: ABC/Valerie Durant via Getty Images)

Nikolas is in the middle of several major ongoing storylines. He recently told his wife Ava Jerome (Maura West) they were getting divorced and is holding Emse (Avery Kristen Pohl) prisoner because she claims she is pregnant with his child after a one-night stand. Nikolas and Elizabeth Webber (Rebecca Herbst) have everyone convinced that Elizabeth is really pregnant to prepare for the baby's birth. Meanwhile, Port Charles is also dealing with a killer on the loose.

If Coloma is leaving before Nikolas' storylines are wrapped up, producers will likely have to recast the role to finish the plots. Nikolas, who was introduced in 1996, has already been played by several actors. Tyler Christopher originated the role, playing Nikolas from 1996 to 1999 and 2003 to 2016. Coltin Scott played Nikolas from 1999 to 2003 and Chris Beetem played him in 2005. Nick Stabile also played Nikolas in 2016. The character was thought to be dead, but he returned in 2019 with Coloma in the role. Adam Huss has played the part multiple times since September 2021 to fill in for Coloma, coming in as recently as November after Coloma tested positive for COVID-19.

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General Hospital airs weekdays on ABC. It is one of the longest-running television shows in world history, as it has been airing almost non-stop since it debuted in April 1963. The series, created by the late Frank and Doris Hursley, is one of the last remaining soap operas on U.S. television. The only others are The Bold and the Beautiful and The Young and the Restless, which both air on CBS. New episodes of Days of Our Lives now debut exclusively on Peacock after NBC dropped the show before the 2022-2023 TV season.