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The Walking Dead season 10 will be the last for Michonne

The Walking Dead Danai Gurira

AMC's The Walking Dead has been shaken up in a major way with the season 8 death of Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) and the season 9 exit of Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), who we'll see again in a trilogy of feature films but not on the show. Some of us questioned how The Walking Dead could continue without Rick, but the show has now jumped ahead six years after his disappearance and things are pretty interesting at the moment, with a lot resting on the shoulders of Rick's "widow" (as far as she knows) Michonne, played by Danai Gurira.

But there's another major shake-up coming down the line. As I mentioned last week in an article about the mysterious future of Lauren Cohan's Maggie on the show, Gurira's contract is up at the end of season 9. Since Gurira has been moving on to even bigger projects - having appeared in BLACK PANTHER and AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR - it wasn't clear if she would want to remain on The Walking Dead.

AMC programming president David Madden definitely hoped she would. He told The Hollywood Reporter, 

She has been very vocal about saying that she loves the show. We love Danai; we love that character. Right now, she's got a lot of opportunities and she needs to weigh what she feels is best for her. But we certainly would want her on the show as long as she wants to be on it.  We really want her to stay. She is an incredibly valuable character and I'm really hoping she stays. Obviously, the lesson of Andy [Lincoln] is that the show can survive anybody's departure if need be, but that's not our goal. The goal is to have Danai continue on whatever basis she can make work, given the other things that she has going on in her life."

Well, Gurira has signed on a new contract, but it's not one that's going to keep Michonne on the show much longer. It's an exit plan. Much like Andrew Lincoln and Lauren Cohan only appeared in five episodes of season 9, Gurira will only be appearing in "a handful of episodes" that will be interspersed throughout season 10. Her final season of the show.

I'm sure this deal has showrunner Angela Kang and her writers scrambling to figure out how they can phase Michonne out, since she is a very important character. There is some silver lining to Gurira's exit, though. This means that Michonne and Rick have a shot at a happy ending. Rick is not coming back to the show, so as long as Michonne is a regular character on it they can't be reunited. With her leaving, there is now a chance that Rick and Michonne will find each other in that trilogy of features and live happily ever after.

Of course, Michonne would have to take their children R.J. (Antony Azor) and Judith (Cailey Fleming) along with her for that to happen. That's a little disappointing, since Judith is proving to be a cool little precocious character in season 9 and I'm enjoying her interactions with Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). But it would be worth it to have Rick's family all together again.

The Hollywood Reporter has heard it's "likely" Michonne will be moving from the show over to the Rick movies, and Madden did say that he has "high hopes that Rick and Michonne's paths will cross again."
 

Source: THR

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