Following Dustin Diamond's passing earlier this year, the cast and crew of the Saved by the Bell reboot will honor the late Screech actor with a "special" tribute. In January, Diamond had revealed that he was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. Though he fought the disease with treatments and the support of some of his old Saved by the Bell co-stars, Diamond sadly died on Feb. 1 at the age of 44.
Dustin Diamond was one of the only major cast members from the original series not to appear in the first season of Peacock's Saved by the Bell. His character was referenced with Slater (Mario Lopez) revealing that Screech currently resides on the International Space Station with his robot friend Kevin. In a new interview with Yahoo Entertainment, Lopez spoke about the special tribute the cast and crew has in mind for Diamond, adding that filming will begin in June.
"We're planning something special we haven't gotten into yet... We're going to have our first table read in about a week or so, but we are planning some special. We're ready to start up again in June and I will be in all those episodes."
During the production of the Peacock reboot, Diamond expressed dismay over Screech being left out of the show's first season. It had been announced early on that the series would feature the returns of original stars like Lopez, Elizabeth Berkley, and Mark-Paul Gosselaar. In an interview with TMZ last year, Diamond said he would have loved to return, questioning how there could be a new Saved by the Bell without Screech.
"See I was one of the people in every episode," Diamond said. "I was literally in every episode. Out of all of the cast members, I was in the most. And that's not the case anymore. I'm not in the new one. And how do you have Saved by the Bell without Screech? .. If it's a reboot of the entire series, just bring back all the staples."
Prior to the season 1 premiere, revival showrunner Tracey Wigfield told The Hollywood Reporter that the door was open for Screech to appear in the second season. At the time, she confirmed that there would be Easter eggs referencing the character, though he wasn't "tied to any of the new characters" the same way some of the other originals are.
"But that's not to say it's not open for the future, not knowing what stories will be or anything for a cameo maybe."
Obviously nobody could have foreseen Diamond's sudden illness, but it's unfortunate he wasn't able to appear as Screech one last time like he wanted to. A cameo from the actor himself is no longer possible, but it's good to know that the cast and crew still plan to pay tribute to Diamond in a special way. No further details were given, so we'll have to wait and see what Lopez is talking about when season 2 of the new Saved by the Bell arrives.
The first season of the new Saved by the Bell can be watched on Peacock. As revealed by Lopez, filming on season 2 is scheduled to start next month. An official release date hasn't yet been set. This news comes to us from Yahoo Entertainment.