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Sources say Drake Hogestyn is headed back to Days of Our Lives in January, but don't expect John Black to rise from the ashes a-la Stefano. Word is, Hogestyn will be returning as a new character who has a connection to the late John. "The show was always planning to bring Drake back," reports a setsider. "It was just a matter of how." One website, DaysofOurLives.about.com, went so far as to map out a story scenario giving Hogestyn's character a new name, Russell McCallister, a teenage son named Gadge, and a wife named Annie, whom Belle encounters as a teacher at Salem University.

A Days rep offered the standard, "No comment," noting all of the above is just a rumor.


Drake Hogestyn Back to Days?

If the rumor is true, yes. Sources say the show is planning to the bring super-star back to Salem at the end of the year, or the beginning of 2008.

Hogestyn's John Black appeared to be really, most sincerely dead after the October 11th episode, but Days has overcome that obstacle before, most notably after the Salem Stalker's killing spree in 2003 - 04.

Though Hogestyn insisted in the 10/23 issue that "John Black has met his Maker," other cast mates were not convinced that the actor was gone forever. "I would be naive to say no to that because it's never say never," offered Deidre Hall [Marlena]. In the same issue, "The indication and ear-markings are that we won't see him again, but we've done it before....if he comes back then it would be wonderful." Martha Madison [Belle] echoed the sentiment saying, "I'm devastated if Drake is leaving. Days if famous for killing and bringing back people, but at this point, none of us knows what is going on. I'll continuously keep my fingers crossed that Drake isn't leaving." Peter Reckell [Bo} recently told Digest, "It doesn't really feel like good-bye. If it was, it would be hard to believe. I hugged him and everything, but was like, 'Well, I'll see you down the road.'

The buzz is that the actor will return as another character, but as an insider insists, "If he's back, it will definitely be as John." A Days spokesperson had no comment.

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