Given the multiple departures and relative secrecy surrounding 'Homeland' season 3, the fact that existing characters would be upped to series regulars hardly seems surprising. More unexpected, however, is that Oscar-winner F. Murray Abraham has taken his first series regular role in the third season of the acclaimed Showtime drama, reprising his intelligence legend Dar Adal. Abraham isn't the only recurring star upped to regular, so get the latest on 'Homeland' season 3 inside!

Much of 'Homeland' season 3 remains shrouded in secrecy, even as the recent synopsis of 'Homeland's' September 29 premiere revealed that the new episodes would extensively focus on the aftermath of the climactic season 2 explosion that killed several characters. That said, Hitfix has revealed that F. Murray Abraham will return to the series as a regular next season, along with the similarly promoted Sarita Choudhury.

Abraham played the shadowy retired intelligence figure and mentor Dar Adal across several season 2 episodes, while Choudhury appeared several times as Saul Berenson's (Mandy Patinkin) estranged wife Mira. The increased presence of both characters certainly suggests some increased focus on Saul, now acting director of the CIA, who was last seen learning of Carrie Matheson's (Claire Danes) survival amid the field of CIA casualties

Thus far, we know that in season 3 of ‘Homeland’ David Marciano (Virgil) and Diego Klattenhoff (Mike) are stepping down as series regulars to take reduced roles, while Morena Baccarin will reprise her series regular role as Jessica Brody, in spite of her husband’s wrongly accused absence. David Harewood, Jamie Sheridan and Navid Negahban are exiting the series as well, given their characters’ fates.

In addition, ‘Homeland’ producer Howard Gordon earlier confirmed that Damian Lewis (Brody) would return despite his character’s predicament, stating at the TCA press tour, “He’s alive so of course he’ll be back. One of the great challenges of next [season] is how he’ll be back. But there’s no doubt that he will be back.” According to Deadline, credible rumors suggest that Brody may appear in Venezuela at the outset of ‘Homeland’ season 3.

Well, what say you? Are you excited to see where 'Homeland' season 3 takes the characters, given Abu Nazir's exit from the series? What do you hope to learn from the September 29 premiere?