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What Has Monica Barbaro Been Up To Since Chicago Justice Was Canceled?

After the success of "Chicago Fire" spin-offs "Chicago P.D." and "Chicago Med," creator Dick Wolf and broadcaster NBC came together for "Chicago Justice," a procedural that detailed the Windy City's many court battles. After a backdoor pilot via "Chicago P.D.," the legal drama was officially greenlit and hit television screens in 2017 (via Variety).

Sadly, "Chicago Justice" was canceled after only one season despite mostly positive reviews (via Rotten Tomatoes). While the series enjoyed higher ratings than "Taken" and "Shades of Blue," which were renewed by NBC, its nightly ratings paled in comparison to those of other "One Chicago" series (via Deadline). According to NBC executives, the decision to cancel the show ultimately came down to a real estate problem. After deciding that "Chicago Justice" was simply too similar to "Law and Order," NBC moved to cancel it (via Deadline).

Monica Barbaro, who co-headlined "Chicago Justice" as Attorney Anna Valdez, was one of the rising stars of the franchise. In the years since the cancelation of "Chicago Justice," Barbaro has taken her talents elsewhere, expanding her television résumé with a diverse set of credits and making moves toward the big screen as well. Notably, she's set to make a giant splash in an upcoming, highly anticipated blockbuster.

She joined the police force in The Good Cop

After "Chicago Justice" was canceled by NBC, Monica Barbaro joined another branch of peacekeeping. The star took on the role of New York Police Department homicide detective Cora Vasquez in Netflix's "The Good Cop." The series, created by "Monk" helmer Andy Breckman, was a remake of the Israeli show of the same name.

In "The Good Cop," TJ Caruso (Josh Groban) is an NYPD lieutenant who is a stickler for the rules. His father, Tony Caruso (Tony Danza) is an ex-cop who returns from prison with the hope of forming a better relationship with his son. Naturally, the two make for an interesting crime-fighting team. At the heart of the show is Barbaro's Vasquez, who is both the TJ's partner and Tony's parole officer. As the series progresses, Vasquez and TJ fall for one another, something that makes their work relationship even more complicated.

The series was ultimately canceled after one season, which likely came as no surprise since a variety of outlets put the dramedy on blast (via Rotten Tomatoes). In his review of the series, The Hollywood Reporter critic Tim Goodman wrote, "I only could suffer through two [episodes] because the toxicity of the nostalgia was so treacherously weaponized and the lack of rough edges and simplistic plots were so narcoleptic in their power that I had to look away for fear of dissolving in sugar."

Barbaro joined Jenna Fischer in an ill-fated sitcom

After "The Good Cop" was canceled by Netflix, Monica Barbaro joined the cast of "Splitting Up Together," which featured "The Office" alum Jenna Fischer. The series, which aired on ABC between 2018 to 2019, centered on a couple in the process of getting divorced. Hoping to make the split smooth for their children, Lena (Fischer) and Martin (Oliver Hudson) come to a compromise where one parent must live in the house and take on a parental role while the other is free to do what they like in the garage.

Barbaro joined the ABC sitcom in a recurring role as the calm and collected Lisa Apple, who begins to date Martin after his split from Lena. Despite the obvious adversarial nature such a character could easily inhabit, Lisa is well-liked on screen, and Martin and Lena's children quickly grow fond of her. She eventually becomes pregnant with Martin's child and gives birth, setting up an interesting dynamic for the growing families.

Unfortunately, audiences never got to see how the trio navigated the birth of Martin and Lisa's daughter as the series was canceled by ABC after only two seasons (via Variety). Notably, the sitcom is considered to be one of the worst shows to debut in 2018. The series, executive produced by Ellen DeGeneres, holds a 38% on Rotten Tomatoes. However, audiences clearly enjoyed the show, as they gave it a whopping 88% on the review aggregator site.

She will make her blockbuster debut with Tom Cruise

After "The Good Cop" and "Splitting Up Together" didn't work out, the "One Chicago" alum was wrangled up for the long-awaited "Top Gun" sequel. The first film, directed by Tony Scott, hit cinemas in 1986 and quickly became the highest-grossing film of that year, racking up over $170 million worldwide (via Box Office Mojo). Starring Tom Cruise, the blockbuster focused on an elite team of Navy fighter pilots training at the prestigious TOPGUN institute. Decades later, audiences will see the next generation of fighter pilots grace the sky.

Arriving later this year, the sequel will see hotshot Navy fighter pilot Maverick (Tom Cruise) training a new generation of pilots at the behest of his foe-turned-friend Admiral Iceman (Val Kilmer). The brand new roster of pilots includes Monica Barbaro's Natasha "Phoenix" Trace. She is joined by Miles Teller, Glen Powell, and Lewis Pullman (via IMDb). Although Barbaro's character has been prominently featured in much of the sequel's promotional material, details on Phoenix remain slim. Cruise, known for doing his own stunts, reportedly put Barbaro and the rest of the cast through a grueling training camp to ensure their performances are as authentic as possible. 

She's joining a highly anticipated video game

After she appears in "Top Gun: Maverick," Monica Barbaro will join the video game craze, as she'll next be seen in the PlayStation 5 and Windows exclusive "Forspoken." After a number of delays, the action role-playing game, developed by Square Enix subsidiary Luminous Productions, is set to hit store shelves on October 11.

"Forspoken" follows Frey Holland (Ella Balinska), a young woman who is magically transported to the fantasy world of Athia, where she gains special powers. To stop the world from being controlled by the evil Tantas, Frey decides to take matters into her own hands to liberate Athia. Joining Frey on her journey is a colorful cast of characters, including a character named Auden, voiced by Barbaro. This will be Barbaro's first role in a video game.

The upcoming game is penned by "Rogue One" scribe Gary Whitta, "Uncharted" helmer Amy Henning, "Shadowhunters" writer Allison Rymer, and "12 Monkeys" star Todd Stashwick (via IMDb). Details are still relatively slim on Square Enix's latest, but the gameplay seen so far has emphasized the importance of quick traversal through Athia's diverse ecosystems (via GameInfomer). 

It remains to be seen how much of a substantial role Barbaro has in the game. While her time on "Chicago Justice" was cut short, the star obviously landed a flurry of other roles to show off her acting chops. With "Top Gun: Maverick" and "Forspoken" on the horizon, we can't wait to see what other high-profile roles Barbaro will take on next!