'The Walking Dead': Danai Gurira's Exit Confirmed

Speculation and rumor is now confirmed as it has been announced that The Walking Dead is losing star Danai Gurira, who plays fan-favorite character, Michonne.

The Hollywood Reporter dropped the exclusive report confirming that Gurira is leaving The Walking Dead, and has even detailed how her exit will be handled. Apparently, Gurira signed on for Walking Dead Season 10, but, only in a limited capacity: "Gurira will return in a limited capacity — described as only a handful of episodes — that will be interspersed throughout season 10."

That will not be the final end of Michonne on The Walking Dead, however, as THR also notes that Gurira, "will then likely segue to the three Walking Dead movies that AMC is planning with former leading man Andrew Lincoln."

The note about Gurira possibly appearing in AMC's planned Walking Dead movies is a new update, but one that makes total sense. The Walking Dead's current season went through the (clunky) process of getting rid of Andrew Lincoln's Rick Grimes, without actually killing him off. Instead of a grand death, Rick was lost and assumed dead, but was actually taken by the mysterious group running the helicopter pickups that Jadis was assisting in secret. Since Rick's disappearance, Michonne (his love interest) hasn't been the same, with heavy hints that some truly violent and drastic events took place in the six-year jump between the Alexandria group losing Rick and the current events of the series.

In that sense, there's now plenty of room for The Walking Dead to send Michonne out on the hunt for Rick, with some flexibility about how and when that storyline could occur. The Rick-focused Walking Dead movies could reunite Rick and Michonne and decide to close that story arc off within the six years of the time jump, or open up that storyline as part of present action of the current season. The suggestion of Gurira making only sporadic appearances in Season 10 doesn't answer anything firmly, either; those appearances could be flashbacks to a different time point, or be set in the present, as Michonne comes and goes during a renewed search for Rick.

As stated, this isn't much of a surprise. We just reported on the fact that Gurira was likely leaving in Season 10, as the the rumblings have been there ever since Gurira climbed onto a whole other level of fame, thanks to Marvel's smash hit 2018 films, Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War. It makes sense that working the long stretches within a big ensemble, for a TV paycheck, wouldn't be nearly as appealing to Gurira, who has been donning Michonne's dreadlock wig ever since Walking Dead Season Three. Here's what Walking Dead showrunner Angela Kang said about the possibility of Gurira leaving:

"I'll just say Michonne is obviously a huge part of the story of The Walking Dead," Kang told INSIDER. "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."

The Walking Dead returns for the back half of its ninth season on February 10th at 9 pm ET. Fear the Walking Dead will return for its fifth season in 2019. Watch ComicBook.com's After The Dead each Sunday night following new episodes.

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