It really could have gone either way when Steve Burton decided to return to General Hospital (GH), and Billy Miller decided to remain with the soap.
That gave writers two Jasons on their hands and it had already been established that the one calling himself Jason for the last two years once had his face. Plus, he was uber popular and his chemistry with Kelly Monaco’s Sam was and is palpable. It was like a dream come true recast.
Except… Burton’s chemistry with Monaco is just as palpable and when these actors were paired for more than a decade, they became one of the most popular couples in GH history. So, what’s a head writer to do with two Jason Morgans on their hands?
Well, choose one to BE Jason Morgan, and then tell the best story possible, which is what GH is currently doing after revealing which one was Jason last week.
Co-Head Writer Chris Van Etten explained to Michael Fairman how the writing team came to the decision to keep Steve Burton playing the Original Recipe Jason Morgan.
“We played out many different scenarios – one of them being Drew, and one of them being Jason,” Van Etten said on Michael Fairman Soaps.
“We played it out the other way, and then we even played out what if one of them is neither of them? My go-to is that one of them is actually Casey the Alien! I love to utilize all parts of GH history!
“It was definitely difficult in that we had to take time to play out each scenario, and figure out which one would give us the biggest bang for our buck, and at the same time honor the story we are telling and honor the characters. It was also about which one was going to give us the most fallout to play. I think we have that now.“
It seemed clear from the start that Burton would be Jason as the differences in Jason and his twin Drew were striking once we saw Burton playing this character once again. Put up next to each other, to many fans there could only be one choice.
And Van Etten is correct in with that choice, you get much more story. If Miller had turned out to be Jason, who would Sam be torn between? Now, we get to see Miller break free of who Jason was supposed to be and become someone else–his own character–and learn all about who he is sans the Jason Morgan identity.
With Drew learning today a bit of his past from 15 years ago, it seems clear there is SO much more story to play and we can’t wait to see it.
General Hospital (GH) airs weekdays on ABC. Check your local listings for airtimes.