Ever since the news regarding William Petersen‘s eventual exit on CSI emerged, producers of the series have been on the lookout for an additional cast member to the team in an effort to fill the void.  Some huge Hollywood names have been reportedly considered such as John Malkovich and Kurt Russell but it seems that Laurence Fishburne has now emerged as the forensic drama’s leading suspect.

Best known for his roles as Jason “Furious” Styles in Boyz n the Hood and as Morpheus, the hacker-mentor of Neo, in the The Matrix science fiction film trilogy, Fishburne is an award-winning actor who has branched out behind the cameras as a playwright, director, and producer.  His other credits include Two Trains Running, What’s Love Got to Do with It and Miss Evers’ Boys.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, The Matrix actor is currently in negotiations to join CSI.  The 47-year-old actor will be playing a doctor/scientist who comes into the CSI as an outsider.

“He has an interesting genetic profile that in certain sorts of medical contexts they’ve noticed that many times serial killers have that same genetic profile,” CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler revealed at the TCA press tour.

While Fishburne might be the new face of CSI, but Tassler emphasized that his new character in no way a replacement of William Petersen‘s character, as many fans will agree.

“Whoever comes in and joins the team after Grissom is going to be a different guy.  But the nature of the show and what fans get out of it, that’s not going to change,” CSI executive producer Naren Shankar added.

As for Petersen, who has played Gil Grissom since the beginning of CSI in 2000, he will carry on as an executive producer to the show, while resurfacing the canvas with the occasional “special” appearance.  Petersen’s exit marks the third departure of an original cast member on the show, following Jorja Fox and Gary Dourdan.

-Kris De Leon, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
(Image courtesy of Wire Image)

Kris De Leon

Staff Writer, BuddyTV