Played by Timothy Omundson, Detective Carlton Lassiter was a fan favorite during Psych's TV run. So, obviously, fans would expect to see him in Psych: The Movie when it airs on Dec. 7. However, why Carlton Lassiter isn't in Psych: The Movie very much is simple to explain. Unfortunately, Timothy Omundson suffered a stroke in May 2017 that kept him from having a very active role in the film.
According to Observation Deck, he had the stroke at the Tampa International Airport and was then rushed to surgery. While fans have been concerned for his well being, he has tweeted several times, confirming that he’s been in rehab and is in the process of recovering. At New York Comic Con, Bustle also received confirmation from the film’s producer Chris Henze that Omundson has been improving and he appears in the movie… a little. “He's doing really well and it's just a matter of rehabbing,” Henze said. “It could've been so much worse and we're so happy that he's with us and healthy and on the mend, on the way back, and in the movie. We want more of him.”
Because of Omundson's health scare, the plan for the movie had to be changed rather dramatically, and at the last minute. According to James Roday, writer, executive producer, and star of Psych: The Movie, Omundson was set to have a much larger role in the film. His part was rewritten after his stroke.
“Tim suffered a stroke, and it was like the whole rug just came out. It was two weeks to basically, essentially rewrite the script," Roday says to Bustle at NYCC. "The fact that we were able to turn that around so quickly into something that I think still works, is a testament to how much we love [Omundson] and the fact that there was some kind of greater energy guiding our hands.”
Kirsten Nelson, who plays Karen Vick in the movie, says to Bustle that she imagines that, were a Psych: The Movie 2 to happen, it would likely heavily focus on Omundson's character, once the actor is more healed. “I think the second movie is going to be about Lassiter, I think it has to be,” Nelson says. “It's this really super crummy situation that we will use to our advantage. I think the fans, I think the cast needs to see him be a part of that onscreen family again ... We need to do a second one if only to have Lassiter's story be told in a really big way.”
Henze agrees, saying, “He's not in the movie as much as we wanted him to be in the movie ... That's one of the big reasons for us to come back and do another [movie] because we want to make sure that Tim comes back and plays the way that he meant to and the way that we meant him to.”
While, as of yet, there’s no official announcement of a confirmed sequel, Psych’s creator, Steve Franks, said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that he’s planned six total movies. And, like the other cast and crew involved, he confirmed that Lassiter would have a much larger role in the future if the movie gets a sequel.
For now, despite Omundson’s health issues, Lassiter will be returning in Psych: The Movie, if only for a scene. Looking to the future, though, whether it be one sequel or five, it’s clear Lassiter will have a prominent role going forward. And, when Lassiter does return in full, it will be a happy day both for the cast and crew of Psych, as well as all of the fans of the iconic series and of Omundson himself.
Additional reporting by Martha Sorren.