Good News and Bad News at Days of our Lives

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Surprises in store for denizens of Salem

James Reynolds (Abe, DOOL)Is James Reynolds on His Way Out? Native Americans Are In!

The bad news first.  It is rumored that long-time Days of Our Lives star James Reynolds (Abe Carver) will be released from the show later this summer.  However, this has yet to be confirmed by the show.  That's the good news.  A Days of Our Lives spokesperson declined to comment on the rumors that Reynolds will be leaving, stating that officially, Reynold's exit is just that - a rumor.
This possible move to take Reynolds off contract has stunned many of the actor's co-stars, not to mention fans of the show.  There is talk that recently-returned head writer, James E. Reilly, plans to greatly pare the show's roster - and that more firings could take place in the very near future. Casting shakeups are typical of new writing regimes, but this is also being seen as a way to cut the show's costs.
According to an article in Soap Opera Digest, Reynold's character is the longest running African American character in television history. Mr. Reynolds joined Days of Our Lives in 1981. While Reynolds did vacate the role briefly from 1990 to 1991 to work on Generations, he's been a part of the DAYS canvas for nearly 22 years.
For fans hoping that Reynolds' Abe will still remain in Salem, but perhaps just not seen as often as usual, there is some bad news. At least one show insider whispers that Reynold's exit may be "permanent."

Reynold's personal spokesperson likewise declined comment and although, as noted above,  the spokesperson for the show maintains that the rumor is just that -- a rumor -- unfortunately, these kinds of persistent rumors are based in fact.  Soapdom will stay on top of this breaking story.

Now for more good news! 

Days of Our Lives has cast Robert Manitopyes, a descendent of the Plains Cree tribe, in the role of Cree, a Native American who gets involved in a mysterious adventure.

"He's got a good heart and intent, and he lives on a reserve that's very poor," shares the daytime newcomer. "Cree's out to save his tribe, and Bo and Hope stumble across the deal he's about to make with the DiMeras."

While Manitopyes's background and his character's name are one of the same, the actor says it's simply a surprising coincidence. "I just thought they were looking for someone who was of Cree origin," he chuckles. "I didn't associate that being the character's actual name."

Manitopyes, who appears in the movie The Core, has also taken on the role of consultant for this storyline. "With each Native American role that comes my way, it's my intent to make it as authentic as possible and break any stereotypes," he explains. "[On Days] I'm able to give my input, and the production has been very generous in asking me about lines and things on set."

The extras featured on Cree's reserve are also Native American. Look for Manitopyes to star on several episodes beginning Aug. 1.

For more on Cree, see Casting.