'One Tree Hill': Will Chad Michael Murray and Hilarie Burton return for Brooke's wedding?
Brooke and Peyton's friendship was one of the foundations of the show when it began, and Burton's abrupt departure with co-star Chad Michael Murray left an awkward space to fill.
"It was the first thing that ran through my mind when Brooke and Julian got engaged," executive producer Mark Schwahn tells Zap2it. "Brooke's wedding would be a really organic, kind of poignant way to bring Peyton and Lucas back. It's my hope that we'll see them at the wedding. I'm a fan of that."
Series star Sophia Bush agrees, especially keeping in mind the reality that Season 8 may be "One Tree Hill's" final bow. "As we're winding down and figuring out how to end something that's meant so much to so many people, for me, a lot comes down to the friendship between Brooke and Peyton," she says. "I'd like to see it again. I love working with Hilarie."
Of course, business is business. "There's no animosity between us and [Hilarie and Chad]," Schwahn says, echoing what Burton told Zap2it recently. "I think a lot of people think that they left on very bad terms, but that's not the case. We'd love to have them back. In the end, it'll probably come down to lawyers and agents, studio red tape, that kind of thing."
Bush reminds us that Burton and Murray have other obligations that could prevent their return to Tree Hill as well. "Theoretically, it'd be weird for Brooke to have a wedding without Peyton there, but at the same time, both of them left and moved on and are at different places in their lives," she says. "We can't really expect them to drop what they're doing to come back."
"Having been hurt by him in the past, I think it might be a little awkward for Brooke to have Lucas at her wedding, but then again, Brooke was the maid of honor at his wedding, so maybe it's not," she muses. "I think we take liberties and remove what would be awkward for someone potentially in life. We make it good for the story."
Schwahn says that other faces from the past may return this season. "Especially if it's our last season," he says, "I think there are a lot of people we'd like to bring back. Dan ( Paul Johansson) and Rachel ( Danneel Harris) did kind of have their riding-off-into-the-sunset moment, but we'd definitely like to see them return, especially as Nathan continues to figure out who he is as a father and what kind of father he wants to be. This story really began with Dan."
"I don't know if anybody is planning on coming back, but I absolutely love Danneel," Bush says. "I think she's the greatest girl in the world and I'd love to see her back. I got to direct her last year and we had the best time."
Despite fond memories of her former co-stars, Bush believes that "One Tree Hill" isn't lacking without them. "We have a new show now, and we haven't lost a single viewer," she says firmly. "And by the way, I think it's a testament to the writers and a testament to those who stayed. You know? The credit goes to the people who stayed and the wonderful new people who joined us for continuing to make the show what it is. I don't think we're missing anything."
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Photo Credit: CW