Despite rumors that the troubled actor has been in talks to return to the show - which was canceled in February when he was fired after being hospitalized following a 36-hour drink and drugs session with a bevy of porn stars - the writer is said to be planning a new direction for the show, without its original star.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, instead of focusing on Sheen's character Charlie, the new version of the Warner Bros. hit would be about his brother Alan, played by Jon Cryer, and a new yet-to-be cast character.

Sources told the website that many well-known actors are being considered for the new role, although the studio hasn't yet confirmed whether the show is returning for a ninth series.

Although 45-year-old Charlie is currently suing Chuck and Warner Bros. for $100 million, he recently expressed his desire to return to the sitcom and hinted that he would have amended his past behaviour if he had known it would lead to him losing his job. He said: "There's been discussions, but I was asked not to divulge anything.

"Had they told me at the end of season eight that that behaviour wasn't going to be cool, I would have adjusted it."