“It was one of the most important stories we were telling this season,” the former TWD showrunner told Variety at Season 10’s Hollywood premiere. “And Danai is a writer of note, so she’s always kept me honest. The thing that brings out the best in The Walking Dead is the pressure not to let people down. Not to let the cast and the crew down, but to tell stories that are worthy of their time and effort and so to have this kind of incredible story to tell for her final season, it’s a blessing.”
Angela Kang, who took over showrunning duties in Season 9, has said the writers’ room approached Gurira’s exit with the same level of respect and responsibility that went into writing off Andrew Lincoln’s Rick Grimes before the midway point last season.
“Danai, she’s been here since Season 3, and her importance to the show just cannot be overstated. The mark that she’s left, the excellence that she brings every day, her professionalism, her passion, all of that, it’s been a remarkable journey that we’ve been on with her,” Kang said during TWD’s Hall H panel at San Diego Comic-Con. “And it’s also been remarkable to see her blooming and spreading her wings out in the world as well. I think for all of us on the writing side, we take that responsibility really seriously.”
Kang continued: “This is a character that’s important to us, important to the fans. In the same way when we were working on an exit for Andy, we approached it with the same level of seriousness and wanting to do right by this incredible actress as well as the story. I hope we haven’t screwed it up.”
When addressing Gurira’s looming exit at Comic-Con, Gimple appeared to hint Michonne could transition into the Walking Dead movies. There Lincoln reprises his role as Rick under the creative charge of Gimple and franchise creator Robert Kirkman.
“She has some amazing things ahead of her and we’re not completely done with her, I’ll say that,” Gimple said. “We’re not completely done with anyone who comes and goes on the show. But she has some amazing things ahead.”
“I will say this, the journey that Angela and her team constructed for Michonne, I’m very, very grateful for,” Gurira said during a TWD press conference. “You want to leave having put everything out there and they were so generous to me.”