‘Castle’ Canceled: A Look Back at Stana Katic, Nathan Fillion’s War

All good things come to an end. ABC officially canceled long-running drama Castle after eight seasons on Thursday, May 12, but many wondered about the fate of the show after the network announced the departure of its leading lady Stana Katic and her onscreen BFF Tamala Jones back on April 18. 

The day after the news of Katic’s exit broke, Us Weekly exclusively reported the actress (who plays NYPD Captain Kate Beckett) and longtime costar Nathan Fillion (who plays mystery novelist Richard Castle) had been having major friction behind the scenes for years.

“Stana Katic and Nathan Fillion completely despise each other,” a source told Us. “They will not speak when they are off set, and this has been going on for seasons now.” The two stars joined the show in March 2009 in the pilot episode, and their characters even married each other in season 6. 

'Castle'
'Castle' Byron Cohen/ABC via Getty Images

“This season, it got so out of hand they made Stana and Nathan go to couples counseling together,” the source added, who said the actress has been in tears on set. Katic’s rep denied any tension, telling Us that she “had absolutely no issues” with her costar, and Deadline later reported that she was leaving for “budgetary reasons.”

A few days later, Us Weekly exclusively revealed even more on-set drama that might have played into Katic’s exit. “Stana would go in her dressing room and cry. A lot of people who work on the show don’t like Nathan. It’s not just her,” a second insider told Us. “The friction was very evident. Nathan has been nasty to Stana for a long time. Stana was a pro, just wanted to get in there and do her job.” 

'Castle'
'Castle' Richard Cartwright/ABC via Getty Images

While Katic, 38, has stayed mum on the reason for her departure, she did thank fans for their support in a tweet. Fillion, 45, also seemed to publicly take the high road and acknowledged the Canadian actress in a tweet: “Stana has been my partner all this time, and I thank her for creating the character Beckett who will live on for all of us as one of the greatest police officers on television. I wish her well, and have no doubt she will succeed in everything she pursues. She will be missed.”

Earlier this week, ABC released promos for the season 8 finale teasing a tragic ending for Beckett. “Everything ends in a tragedy, even an epic love story like yours,” a villainous voice says in the commercial. The network also previously issued an official statement on Katic leaving the hit series: “Kate Beckett has been a beloved character on our hit series Castle for the past eight years. We are grateful for Stana Katic’s talent and dedication to the series, and we hope to continue our relationship.” 

'Castle'
'Castle' Richard Cartwright/ABC via Getty Images

On Friday, May 13, after ABC closed the door on season 9, Katic tweeted a handwritten note to Castle fans, cast and crew: “Your devotion to our show has carried us for these unforgettable 8 seasons. I’m lucky to have met and worked with for the lot of you. I will always be grateful.”

Luckily, fans will get all questions answered and mysteries solved during the finale. One of the show’s executive producers previously told Entertainment Weekly that they were prepared for the scenario that the show may not be renewed. “If we hear that we’re not coming back, we have shot something that we can put at the end of the episode as a way to put a button on everything. Obviously that would be a bad thing because it would mean no more, he told EW. “We did it in order to protect the fans, because you can’t end the series on a cliffhanger.”

The season finale of Castle airs on ABC on Monday, May 16, at 10 p.m. ET. 

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