We recently reported that, although AMC had (obviously) renewed their hit drama series The Walking Dead for a 10th season, the network had yet to reach a deal with star Danai Gurira. Now, it seems as if a deal has closed, but one which sees Gurira and Michonne exiting the series after a “handful of episodes” in Season 10.
THR reports that the next season, arriving on AMC this fall, will be the last for Gurira; she’ll return in a “limited capacity” throughout Season 10. While it’s possible, maybe even likely that Michonne will find her way over to the three spin-off films that AMC and chief content officer Scott Gimple have in store, that’s not been officially announced just yet.
Interestingly enough, series’ founding lead Andrew Lincoln had exited the story proper by the midseason finale, but also landed a deal for side stories in The Walking Dead universe/continuity. Similarly, co-stars Norman Reedus and Melissa McBride managed to sign on for “franchise/universe” deals that will be worth tens of millions of dollars for each of them. Not so for Gurira, it seems, though details of the deal have yet to be officially revealed. And while AMC and Gurira’s reps declined to comment on the story, AMC programming president David Madden previously told THR the following concerning Gurira:
“She has been very vocal about saying that she loves the show. We love Danai; we love that character. Right now, she’s got a lot of opportunities and she needs to weigh what she feels is best for her. But we certainly would want her on the show as long as she wants to be on it. We really want her to stay. She is an incredibly valuable character and I’m really hoping she stays. Obviously, the lesson of Andy is that the show can survive anybody’s departure if need be but that’s not our goal. The goal is to have Danai continue on whatever basis she can make work, given the other things that she has going on in her life.”
As for Gurira, though The Walking Dead may have been her breakout role, she has a lot going on outside the post-apocalyptic drama. The award-winning and Tony-nominated playwright can also boast about her major role in the seven-time Oscar-nominated Black Panther and reprisal of her character Okoye in the Avengers follow-up films. The future certainly looks bright for Gurira, so if you were a fan of her work on TWD, make sure to follow up on that fandom in other spheres.