The Walking Dead will continue on without Michonne. Danai Gurira, who has played the badass character since she joined the show in season 3, will leave the show after season 10, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The actress, 40, will reportedly return for a “handful of episodes” that will be dispersed through the tenth season. She also may appear in the AMC spinoff movies starring Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes – with whom Michonne shares a child.
Showrunner Angela Kang and executive producer Greg Nicotero spoke about Gurira’s contract – which ends at the end of season 9 – with Insider in an interview published on Thursday, February 7.
“I’ll just say Michonne is obviously a huge part of the story of The Walking Dead,” Kang said. “We absolutely love Danai. Anything that’s contract-wise, that’s for people to work out, but we have a lot of exciting stories to tell with her going forward. We’re thrilled for what’s in store for her. That’s as much as I can say right now.”
“For me, it’s always important to maintain some integrity from season to season of these characters that we’re invested in and we’ve fallen in love with,” the EP and makeup supervisor added. “There’s a lot of great characters that are still on the show and there’s a lot of characters that left the show that I miss. But I’m pretty confident that there’s lots of plans in place for all kinds of different scenarios.”
Lincoln, 45, exited the series earlier in season 9; while the group — Michonne included — think he’s dead, he actually was taken away in a helicopter by Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh). However, the character will return in films made for AMC.
“These films are going to be big evolutions of what we’ve been doing on the show, with the scope and scale of features. We’re starting with the first part of the continuing story of Rick Grimes, and there is much more on the way, featuring yet-unseen worlds of The Walking Dead and faces from the show’s past, as well as new characters we hope to become favorites, told by TWD veterans and emerging voices,” AMC CCO Scott Gimple said in November. “We want to break new ground with different, distinct stories, all part of the same world that’s captured our imagination for nearly a decade of the Dead.”
AMC declined to comment on the report.
The Walking Dead returns to AMC with the second half of season 9 on Sunday, February 10, at 9 p.m. ET.
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