‘All American’: Why Did Darnell Leave in Season 3?

At the start of All American Season 2, viewers were first introduced to Darnell Hayne (Da’Vinchi), Spencer James’ half-brother. He is the son of Renée Hayes (Dana L. Wilson), an ex-girlfriend of Corey James (Chad L. Coleman). Darnell played a minor role in season three and later departed from Crenshaw. So, why did the character leave The CW series unexpectedly?  

Actor Da'Vinchi wearing a gray suit jacket and a turtleneck to the 2018 Freeform Summit.
Actor Da’Vinchi | Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

Why did Darnell leave South Crenshaw?

In All American Season 3, Darnell fought for the starting quarterback spot after Billy Baker (Taye Diggs) became the coach at Crenshaw. In the end, he loses the spot to another player on the team. Toward the end of episode four, he leaves South Crenshaw and does not return.

Soon after, the characters addressed Darnell’s sudden departure in the third season. The show revealed that he went back home to see his mother, who suffered an injury in the army. While there is a reasonable explanation for his exit, there is so much more to the story.

Da’Vinchi wanted to pursue other opportunities outside of ‘All American’

Demetrius “Lil Meech” Flenory Jr. as Demetrius “Big Meech” Flenory, and Da’Vinchi as Terry Flenory kneel in front of a brick wall'BMF'
Demetrius “Lil Meech” Flenory Jr. as Demetrius “Big Meech” Flenory, and Da’Vinchi as Terry Flenory in ‘BMF’ | Starz

According to Screen Rant, Da’Vinchi left All American for another acting job. He later booked the lead role on the Starz original series Black Mafia Family, also referred to as BMF for short. As stated by TVLine, the official series logline reads: “Black Mafia Family is inspired by the true story of two brothers who rose from the decaying streets of southwest Detroit in the late 1980s and gave birth to one of the most influential crime families in this country. 

“Demetrius ‘Big Meech’ Flenory’s charismatic leadership, Terry ‘Southwest T’ Flenory’s business acumen, and the fraternal partnership’s vision beyond the drug trade and into the world of Hip Hop would render the brothers iconic on a global level,” the logline continued. “Their unwavering belief in family loyalty would be the cornerstone of their partnership and the crux of their eventual estrangement – this is a story about love, family, and capitalism in the pursuit of the American dream.”

At the time, 50 Cent’s new show was tapping around the same time as All American Season 3. Due to scheduling conflicts, Da’Vinchi had to leave The CW series. Also, the actor will make an appearance in Broadway play Thoughts of a Colored Man, which debuts in late 2021.

Since Da’Vinchi had no plans to leave All American anytime soon, his sudden departure shocked fans. In an exclusive interview with Meaww, the actor teased that he would stay for the long haul. “Darnell is definitely here to stay. As long as [filming the show] does not conflict with any other project that I’m working on.” 

But, it seems that Da’Vinchi’s other projects conflicted with The CW show, and as a result, his character was written off the show temporarily.

Will Darnell come back to Crenshaw in ‘All American’ Season 4?

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Related

‘All American’ Fans Will See A Lot More of Hunter Clowdus in Season 4

Ahead of the All American Season 4 premiere, The CW released the first official trailer. While fans saw some familiar faces, it looks like another character is returning to Crenshaw. In the trailer, Darnell is talking to Spencer James (Daniel Ezra) about his football scholarship.

He tells Spencer that he is “too smart” to throw away a full scholarship. Even though that’s the only clip that features Da’Vinchi’s character, fans hope the actor will be more present in the show.

All American Season 4 returns on Oct. 25, at 8 pm E.T on The CW.