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By Rosy Cordero
April 01, 2021 at 08:30 AM EDT
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The season 1 finale of Paradise City set the stage for more drama for Simon, the aspiring rocker played by the late Cameron Boyce. And that means the role will have to be recast if the series continues.

"We're definitely hoping to shoot a second season before the year is over, but there are a few factors we have to get through to see how soon that can happen," series creator Ash Avildsen tells EW exclusively. "With Cameron, his character really is the heartbeat for the audience. We're all going on this ride with him as he discovers the world as an underdog. We'll have to find someone amazing who can hopefully carry the character."

Avildsen adds, "I mapped out like six seasons before we even shot this, so his character, Simon, is the driving force as the story continues. So we would have to recast, and I hope audiences are emotionally prepared for that. It's something you hope you never ever have to even think about, much less experience as a writer and director. Hopefully we get another season and we find someone that can bring the character back into the story."

Paradise City
Credit: Sumerian Films/Hit Parader

Avildsen remembers Boyce, who died of epilepsy in 2019, at 20, as "the epitome of a superstar: professional, kind, charismatic, and loving."

"You couldn't be in a bad mood when he was in the room," he says." He had this infectious energy to him. The best word I have to describe him is magical. He made you excited to be in the room. No matter what we asked of him, he was always a team player. And his performance really speaks for itself."

The Paradise City cast is full of young talent, including Booboo Stewart, Bella Thorne, Andy Biersack, and Ben Bruce, who bring to life the rock band at the center of the story, the Relentless. And Avildsen sees bright futures for his actors.

"Booboo knew how to play guitar and was aware of this new school of modern hard rock," he says. "He fell into the role very naturally. Bella also did such an incredible job as the group's bass player. All of the young actors really did a standout job. We're hearing a lot of feedback about how believable they all are as a rock band. Many seemed surprised specifically of the actors with a Disney background. Moving on from that type of work where you were a Disney kid onto a show like this makes sense because they probably don't want to be typecast. They were all super-professional."

Paradise City is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

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