Christopher Meloni will soon be back as Elliot Stabler on a full-time basis as he has officially started working on Law & Order: Organized Crime. A spinoff of Law & Order: SVU, the new series will follow Stabler pursuing a new kind of criminal after returning to the NYPD. Taking to Instagram this week, Meloni revealed that production on Organized Crime has started with an image of himself peeking out from behind the door of Stabler's office.
"Hey. L&O:OC... we workin on it," Christopher Meloni writes in the caption. Before starring in his own spinoff, Stabler will first reunite with Olivia Benson in an upcoming episode of SVU. Earlier this month, Meloni and SVU co-star Mariska Hargitay teased Meloni's return as Stabler in a pair of images of the two from the set. This week, Hargitay also posted a new photo of herself alongside Meloni with the caption, "It's all happening..."
In Law & Order: Organized Crime, Elliot Stabler returns to the NYPD after a decade of retirement, forced to come to grips with just how much the department has changed over the past ten years. Rather than working with the SVU, Stabler will now lead a task force to pursue organized crime after the detective suffers a "devastating personal loss." Per NBC, Stabler must also "adapt to a criminal justice system in the midst of its own moment of reckoning" to "find absolution and rebuild his life."
Meloni originally played Stabler on Law & Order: SVU for its first 12 seasons from 1999 until 2011. At the time, the character's absence was written away as Stabler abruptly putting in his retirement papers. After his departure, he never returned for so much as a cameo, and it seemed unlikely Benson would ever see Stabler again. Last year, that all changed when it was announced that Stabler and Benson would reunite in season 22 of SVU before Meloni would branch out into his own spinoff.
While Stabler will be doing his own thing in Organized Crime, Meloni has assured fans will be satisfied with his reunion with Benson while teasing more to come with the two characters.
"It just has to be," Meloni told The New York Post last summer. "Benson and Stabler are inextricably linked, locked and connected. I think there is truly and deeply a worthwhile, inherent drama in exploring that relationship and the complexity of how Stabler left - the unresolved emotions both characters feel and how the fans feel."
He added, "It almost feels that we won't do one or two [crossover] episodes and move on our merry way. I just think there will always be possibilities there. People will always be hungry to see how we interact and how that dynamic has changed."
Law & Order: Organized Crime was originally scheduled to premiere last fall, but delays pushed the series to 2021. It's not yet clear exactly when the new show will premiere. Ilene Chaiken will serve as the showrunner for Law & Order: Organized Crime after Matt Olmstead stepped down last year. News of Organized Crime beginning production comes to us from Christopher Meloni on Instagram.