With production set to begin on Ravenswood next month, it seems a little crazy that the Pretty Little Liars spinoff would be dealing with a pretty gigantic casting shake up. Though, I guess it’s better for it to happen now than in the middle of filming the show’s first couple of episodes; no reshoots will be required in this case. Still, Ravenswood is now down a cast member and the clock is ticking to find a replacement. Elizabeth Whitson departed the series when she was originally slated to star as Olivia. Amazingly, the role of Olivia is not the one that needs to be filled.
THR reported that, after Whitson departed, Merritt Patterson rose to the challenge of filling her shoes, leaving behind the part she was originally meant to play, Olivia’s former best friend Tess. Ravenswood is now looking for someone new to play Tess, while the remaining cast members – Brett Dier, Nicole Gate Anderson, Britne Oldford, and Tyler Blackburn – are all still attached in the roles they were cast for. So what was the cause for this character shuffle? “As we dug deeper into the mythology of Ravenswood we decided to re-conceive the character of Olivia. Merritt Patterson seemed to be the best choice for the direction the character is now headed,” said executive producers for Ravenswood.
I’m not sure what they changed, but it was clearly enough that Whitson no longer fit the bill, though whether she left of her own accord or was asked to step down is beyond my knowledge. I would like to think she left of her own volition, but you can never be too sure with these things.
Olivia, in her original incarnation – I’ve no idea what they’ve changed about the character – was a former prom queen struggling with a fall from grace. While she used to be carefree and effortlessly happy, she now questions what’s truly important. All the while, the town of Ravenswood is suffering from a deadly, generations-long curse.