Cracking the sendoff for Michonne star Danai Gurira was “really difficult to do,” but The Walking Dead executive producer Denise Huth says showrunner Angela Kang and the writers’ room have inked a “satisfying” story that looks to raise many more questions.
“To send a character off the show, and [decide] how we wanted to do that… I know Angela and the writers spent a lot of time discussing it in the build-up to this season. It is tricky. It’s a very difficult thing to do,” Huth told RadioTimes. “I think it’s going to be great — I think it will ultimately be very satisfying and also raise a whole bunch of other questions.”
Huth, a producer on the series since its first season in 2010, says the zombie drama’s near decade-long lifespan is “incredible all by itself.”
“When we started in season one, absolutely none of us thought we’d be here 10 years later! It’s so uncommon and we’re so grateful that we still get to tell this story,” Huth said. “Part of the gift and the challenge of being on the air so long is you have to start figuring out new ways to tell stories and how to introduce characters and how to lose characters… I think Angela has done a phenomenal job this year of addressing all those problems.”
Kang was first tasked with writing out Rick Grimes star Andrew Lincoln, set to reappear in the franchise’s first movie trilogy, and Maggie Rhee star Lauren Cohan, who was quietly written out in Season 9. Cohan is still expected to eventually reprise her role.
Gurira, who joined TWD in its third season in 2012, could have an exit that is similarly open-ended: executive producer Scott Gimple hinted Michonne might live on past the mothership series.
“She has some amazing things ahead of her and we’re not completely done with her, I’ll say that,” Gimple said during a TWD press conference at San Diego Comic-Con in July. “We’re not completely done with anyone who comes and goes on the show. But she has some amazing things ahead.”
However Michonne departs, the story has won Gurira’s approval: the star previously confirmed Kang consulted with her when crafting Michonne’s final season story.0comments
“I was in a room where they have all the pictures of people who have left the show, and everyone’s exit has been so specific and really resonate in its own, very original way. And so there was no exception to that in my case, I’m very thankful for that,” Gurira told the Los Angeles Times in July. “And I was allowed to be a collaborator. But they created a very, very, very sound structure of how Michonne exits, which I was very thankful for.”