After a decade on television, The Walking Dead has suffered some major losses with the departures of Andrew Lincoln, Lauren Cohan, and Chandler Riggs. The series is now losing another tenured actor as Danai Gurira will exit her role as Michonne.
But this might not be the end of the sword-swinging zombie slayer, as word of her departure also comes with possibilities of her return in the announced movies in The Walking Dead universe.
According to a report from The Hollywood Reporter, after Gurira finishes her 8-season stint on the AMC series, she will likely move on to appear in the upcoming movies featuring Lincoln's return as Rick Grimes. The news is not confirmed, but the report indicates this seems to be the most likely outcome.
Gurira's Michonne takes on a bigger role in The Walking Dead after Lincoln's departure, and it was thought she would be the focus alongside Norman Reedus' Daryl Dixon as the series continues. This could put a wrench in showrunner Angela Kang's plans, but Gurira did negotiate a truncated appearance in what's described as a "handful" of episodes in Season 10, will will be interspersed throughout the run.
With news of The Walking Dead's renewal for a tenth season, Kang spoke out about Gurira's importance to the series future as negotiations went on during an interview with INSIDER.
"I'll just say Michonne is obviously a huge part of the story of The Walking Dead," said Kang. "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."
Producer, director, and visual effects wizard Greg Nicotero also spoke about Gurira's role, hopeful that she would continue to play a role.0comments
"Yeah, listen, of course," Nicotero said. "For me, it's always important to maintain some integrity from season to season of these characters that we're invested in and we've fallen in love with...There's a lot of great characters that are still on the show and there's a lot of characters that left the show that I miss. But I'm pretty confident that there's lots of plans in place for all kinds of different scenarios."
The Walking Dead Season 9 returns to AMC this Sunday, February 10th.