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NCIS: Origins Star Confirmed What To Expect From Gibbs' Mentor Mike Franks

Young Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Austin Stowell) is the star of "NCIS: Origins," but he'll be joined by some key players from the franchise. Kyle Schmid will portray Gibbs' mentor, Mike Franks, during his years as an ambitious agent climbing the ladder. Speaking with TV Insider, Schmid said that this version of Franks will be less jaded than Muse Watson's wily old veteran, whom we met on "NCIS," as the prequel series will follow him during a period of growth.

"[We're] seeing him at a point in his life where he has paved his own way and earned the respect of the agency," Schmid said. "Now he has the opportunity to build a team that he sees as being some of the most promising agents in NCIS. We get to meet those people and see those people grow."

Schmid added that Franks will still be Gibbs' mentor and an influential figure in his life, so their dynamic won't be that different from the one fans already know and love. Furthermore, while Gibbs might look different on "NCIS: Origins" from Mark Harmon's version, he'll still boast the same traits that endeared everyone to the character in the first place — and Franks will have a crucial role in shaping his protege's admirable qualities. However, Franks might not be the clear-cut good guy everyone is expecting him to be.

Mike Franks is a morally complex character

"NCIS: Origins" is set in Los Angeles circa 1991, so don't expect the characters to be modern-day archetypes. In the aforementioned interview with TV Insider, Kyle Schmid explained that the year and setting will be integral to the show, and his character won't always make calls that people agree with.

"We get to see how Mike Franks gets to play a 40-year-old in an industry in 1991 that we in present-day America have forgotten, and have tried to change. I think that will be really interesting for the show," he said. Schmid added that his character is morally gray and does what he thinks is best, even if it isn't necessarily right. As such, viewers can expect "NCIS: Origins" to be one of the edgier additions to the franchise.

Leroy Jethro Gibbs isn't the only important person in Franks' life who will be part of the upcoming prequel series, either. "NCIS: Origins" is confirmed to feature the return of a key franchise character following a multi-year absence, as Diany Rodriguez will portray Vera Strickland. "NCIS" reveals that Strickland and Franks used to be partners, and the prequel series will undoubtedly give them plenty of opportunities to showcase their skills as a formidable duo.