Orange is the new Black Season 2 is set for a big cast shake-up with one of the main characters from Season 1 reportedly exiting the Netflix series.
Actress Laura Prepon, who played Piper Chapman's former love interest Alex who also ends up in the same prison as her during Season 1, may be on her way out, according to a report by Buzzfeed.
Prepon will not be a regular on the Netflix series for Season 2, according to the Buzzfeed report, and many have jumped on those reports to indicate that she is on her way out. Some have taken those rumors to suggest that Piper and Alex's relationship will end in tragedy, but nothing official has been given away by Netflix regarding those claims.
The Buzzfeed rumors have been sparked by an unnamed source close to the show, however, Netflix has denied the reports that Prepon will be leaving, saying that the reports of an exit are "not accurate."
Netflix has said, "Our season is still developing and nothing is confirmed," according to The Huffington Post.
However, Netflix's denial has not stopped the cast rumors from swirling out of control. According to Buzzfeed, Prepon will be returning in a few episodes in Season 2 but only to tie up her character's storyline, and she will then depart. It is claimed though that the show will leave the option open to bring her back later in the series, according to the Buzzfeed report – contradicting other rumors that Alex will leave in a more abrupt and tragic way.
The cast news has shocked some fans as Prepon's storyline with Taylor Schilling's Piper Chapman was one of the central themes of Season 1, and not many would have guessed that she would be taking a back seat for the next season.
According to Buzzfeed, "One of [Prepon's] agents responded to an email by saying he could not discuss the show, and her publicist did not immediately answer an email asking why Prepon would leave 'Orange Is the New Black.'"
In recent weeks, Matt McGorry, who plays prison guard Bennett for the hit series, said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, that the filming for the new season had started.
He told the publication: "I should be getting a script any day, which as a fan, I'm very excited about.
"What Netflix has done and the risks they've taken are just kind of incredible, and I think not having to worry about ratings has allowed us to create a product that's probably taken more risks than many others."
The comedy-drama only premiered on Netflix on July 11, 2013 with 13 episodes for its Season 1. However, it has become an instant hit among Netflix subscribers, and the series' makers were so confident in its success that they gave it the nod for a second season before Season 1 was even released to the public.
The first season revolves around the story of Piper Chapman, who is sent to prison for helping to transport drug money nearly a decade ago for her then-lover drug smuggler.
Schilling is sent to federal prison, where the series is set, and the season then goes on to explore the difficulties she encounters with prison life.
The comedy series does touch on some serious issues, such as race, class and mental health, but it's balancing act between addressing real issues and finding comedic ways of telling stories around them have made the series a big hit.
The Washington Post's Dylan Matthews heaped praise on the new series, saying it was "the best TV show about prison ever made."
Mashable's Nora Grenfell also described that Orange is the New Black was what "Netflix was made for."
"Orange is the New Black" stars Laura Prepon as Alex Vause (Chapmman's former girlfriend), Michael J. Harney as Sam Healy (prison manager), Michelle Hurst as Miss Claudette (Chapman's former roommate), Kate Mulgrew as Galina 'Red' Reznikov (prison-mate), and Jason Biggs as Larry Bloom (Chapman's fiancé).
It has already been rumored that Taryn Manning, who stars as Tiffany "Pennsatucky" Doggett in Season 1, will also be returning for season 2, and most of the main characters would be returning, with the possibility of some new additions.
Some rumors have suggested that some special guests may get the go ahead to appear on the upcoming season of the hit Netflix show.
Filming on Season 2 of "Orange Is the New Black" is currently underway in New York.
Here is a video trailer for Netflix's original series, Orange is the New Black Season 1: