The Walking Dead: Norman Reedus Speak On Melissa McBride's Exit, Teases Eventual Return

The Walking Dead star Norman Reedus is breaking his silence on co-star Melissa McBride's exit from the Daryl & Carol spinoff series. The announcement that McBride was leaving the series, as was the showrunner, and that the premise was being re-focused to Reedus's Daryl alone – sparked a wave of ugly conspiracy theories and backlash from Walking Dead fans. It went so far as to have Negan himself, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, step up and swat down trolls coming for Reedus. Well, now Norman Reedus is speaking for himself – and this is what he has to say: 

"You know, it was originally Carol and I -- Melissa McBride and I. And she's taking time off. You know, twelve years [of The Walking Dead] is a grueling schedule, and she wanted to take some time off. So She's doing that and she deserves it," Reedus explained to Jimmy Fallon

When news of McBride leaving the Daryl & Carol series was announced, AMC released the following statement explaining McBride's exit (and echoing the sentiment that Reedus expresses above): 

"Melissa McBride has given life to one of the most interesting, real, human and popular characters in The Walking Dead Universe. Unfortunately, she is no longer able to participate in the previously announced spin-off focused on the Daryl Dixon and Carol Peletier characters, which will be set and filmed in Europe this summer and premiere next year. Relocating to Europe became logistically untenable for Melissa at this time. We know fans will be disappointed by this news, but The Walking Dead Universe continues to grow and expand in interesting ways and we very much hope to see Carol again in the near future." 

That explanation only fueled some fan theories that Norman Reedus somehow pulled a power move to get production set in the UK and re-focus the spinoff on himself. As JDM and others have explained, actors almost never get to make such choices about productions. So how did the Daryl & Carol spinoff become the Daryl Show? 

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(Photo: AMC)

According to Norman Reedus, he gave a simple answer to a simple question to get the ball rolling. He also teases that Dary may not remain solo forever: 

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"They kind of came to me -- I imagine those characters [Daryl and Carol] are going to meet back up at some point. And might even meet up with some other characters down the road. But she's taking time off, and in the meantime, they were like 'Hey, do you want to go on a mission?' And I'm like 'Yeah let's do it!'" 

The Walking Dead Universe airs on AMC and its streaming platform.