Despite a "reduced" role in the coming tenth season of The Walking Dead because of Michonne star Danai Gurira's blossoming film career in blockbusters Black Panther and the two-part Avengers, showrunner Angela Kang promises the blowing-up star receives a "nice, meaty" story in her final season.
"Well, we are going to be doing some creative things with the order in which we write and shoot things so that she's sort of woven in a little bit," Kang told Deadline. "With Black Panther, Avengers and plays of her own and everything, I think Danai obviously is having an amazing career moment. She's like an international treasure."
When Gurira's exit was first confirmed by THR, it was reported Michonne would appear in just a "handful" of episodes interspersed throughout the upcoming season. Gurira is then expected to segue into the Andrew Lincoln-led Rick Grimes movies, the first of which is expected to arrive in 2020.
"So we've kind of known that she would have a reduced role this coming season. We're excited to tell a nice, meaty story with her for Season Ten regardless, I can tell you," Kang told Deadline. "I'm also so thrilled with all the great attention she's gotten for the work she's done on the show this year. Danai is not only an amazing athlete and warrior on the show, but she's such an incredible dramatic actress too in my opinion."
Asked if Michonne will still play a "significant" part of the next season despite a decreased presence, Kang confirmed she "absolutely" will, adding the star is queued for another major episode on par with 914, "Scars," which explored a deeply traumatic encounter shared by Michonne and Daryl (Norman Reedus).
"It's basically another one of these giant Michonne episodes, which I'm really excited about," Kang said. "Yeah, she will be a significant part of Season Ten."
It's not yet known what becomes of Michonne's young children, Judith (Cailey Fleming) and RJ (Antony Azor), who are unlikely to accompany her on a probably dangerous trek to wherever Rick was taken when he was secretly flown away aboard a helicopter. The pair could be entrusted to the care of Uncle Daryl or, as his growing redemption shows, Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), who won Michonne over in part when he risked his life to save Judith from a deadly snowstorm.
The Walking Dead Season Ten enters into production next month ahead of a fall premiere on AMC. Gurira first returns as Wakandan warrior Okoye in Marvel Studios' Avengers: Endgame, out April 26.
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