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‘The Kominsky Method’: Why Did Alan Arkin Bow out of Season 3?

Netflix has a knack for developing interesting original content that fills a void. That's what it did with 'The Kominsky Method. The series premiered in 2018 to rave reviews. It went out the same way it came in after season 3. Still, fans were heartbroken when Alan Arkin didn't return as Norman Newlander. Why did he opt-out?

Netflix released the third season of The Kominsky Method on May 28 to rave reviews. The much-anticipated final season of the series adequately wrapped up the story of Sandy Kominsky and Norman Newlander, but the absence of star, Alan Arkin, was deeply felt. Arkin opted not to return for the final season. Instead, he decided to focus on other projects. 

Alan Arkin never intended to make a third season of ‘The Kominsky Method’ 

Arkin’s absence certainly bummed some fans out, but the octogenarian actor was never committed to the idea of doing a third season of the show. He revealed early on that he had two seasons in him for the show. Chuck Lorre, the show’s creator, knew it, too. 

Alan Arkan as Norm Newlander and Michael Douglas as Sandy Kominsky in 'The Kominsky Method'
Alan Arkin and Michael Douglas in ‘The Kominsky Method’ | Netflix

What Lorre didn’t know was whether the cast would return at all for a season 3. When the team wrapped up season 2, Netflix hadn’t decided if they wanted more. Lorre wasn’t sold on the idea of a third season, either. Ultimately, Netflix wanted to ensure that The Kominsky Method got the send-off it deserved. The abbreviated six-episode season was exactly what fans needed. Norman’s death and Sandy processing the loss was, in the end, the perfect way to punctuate the series.

Alan Arkin didn’t sit around while his former castmates were filming, though 

While Arkin decided not to complete season 3 of The Kominsky Method, his time in the public eye is not yet over. While the rest of the cast filmed season 3, Arkin worked on his book, Out of My Mind: Not Quiet a Memoir. Arkin chose to focus on writing instead of acting for his health. In a candid interview, the famed actor revealed that the stress of being in the business wasn’t good for him, even though, at 87, he still enjoys aspects of it.

Norman Newlander in a scene from 'The Kominsky Method'
Alan Arkin as Norman Newlander in ‘The Kominsky Method | Netflix

According to Newsweek, Arkin isn’t done acting yet, though. He’s just taking smaller and less stressful roles. He lent his voice to The Rise of Gru and appeared in Spenser Confidential, a Netflix Original movie. The pandemic did slow him down, but as things level out and vaccination continues to roll out, Arkin expects to be back in films eventually, just not in a full-time capacity. 

What is Michael Douglas doing now that ‘The Kominsky Method’ is over? 

Arkin isn’t the only cast member who has new projects in the works. Arkin’s co-star, Michael Douglas, isn’t planning for retirement, either. With more than 40 years of acting under his belt, Douglas has chosen to take his talents back to the big screen. Following the end of The Kominsky Method, Douglas signed on to Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Douglas will reprise his role as Dr. Hank Pym in the upcoming film. 

Douglas is also working on Reagan and Gorbachev, a recently announced miniseries. He will be portraying Ronald Reagan. According to IMDb, Christoph Waltz will take on the role of Mikhail Gorbachev. The project is in pre-production.