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Danai Gurira leaving The Walking Dead

The 'Black Panther' star will depart the AMC zombie drama, which helped her skyrocket to fame, in season 10.

 

Danai Gurira, a breakout star of AMC's The Walking Dead, is exiting the series.

 

Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that Gurira, who officially joined the series in season three as iconic katana-wielding Michonne, has signed a deal to return for her final season of the zombie drama.

 

Under her new deal, Gurira will return in a limited capacity — described as only a handful of episodes — that will be interspersed throughout season 10. The actress, playwright and social activist will then likely segue to the three Walking Dead movies that AMC is planning with her former leading man Andrew Lincoln. The latter has played the central role of Rick Grimes since the pilot and departed in the first half of season nine.

 

AMC and representatives for Gurira declined comment.

 

Gurira's departure — like Lincoln's — is considered a creative blow to The Walking Dead. Both Rick and Michonne remain focal points of Robert Kirkman's source material on which the AMC series is based.
 

"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," AMC programming president David Madden told The Hollywood Reporter in November. "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 anyone'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."

 

Gurira had been in talks with AMC for a new contract since well before season nine started. With Lincoln and co-star Lauren Cohan's (Maggie) departures already on the books, sources say re-upping Gurira became a top priority as the two camps worked out details on an exit strategy. Meanwhile, Gurira's co-stars — Norman Reedus (Daryl) and Melissa McBride (Carol) — signed multiple-year "franchise/universe deals" with AMC.

 

Sources say those pacts will cover three years of the franchise as a whole, meaning if their characters are written off of the flagship and relocated to another property in the Walking Dead franchise — or depart completely — they would continue to get paid. Both received sizable raises. Reedus — who also hosts and exec produces AMC's unscripted motorcycle series Ride With Norman Reedus — earns $350,000 per episode on top of additional guarantees and advances in a deal that sources say could be worth anywhere from $50 million to $90 million. McBride's deal will see the actress score an estimated $20 million over three years.
 

Those deals allow Reedus and McBride to jockey between Walking Dead properties, including crossing over to companion series Fear the Walking Dead and, potentially, roles in the trio of TV movies. AMC, under chief content officer Scott M. Gimple, has further expansion plans beyond the movies for its billion-dollar franchise.

 

Financial details of Gurira's contract were not immediately available.

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Re: Danai Gurira leaving The Walking Dead

Can't say that this news is surprising at all. With her movie career being so hot I figured she'd be leaving the show soon.

 

I'm really trying to hang in there, but after 9 years it's getting difficult. They killed off way too many popular characters. I couldn't care less about any of the new characters they introduced this season.

 

The most interesting character to come along in ages, Jadis/Ann, is no longer on the show either. I assume she'll be tied into the movies featuring Rick and what happened to him after the helicopter took him away. 

 

Michonne was always one of my favorite characters, along with Carol and Daryl. Not having her on the show anymore may be the final nail in the coffin, for me at least. 

 

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Re: Danai Gurira leaving The Walking Dead

I think it was a serious mistake when the producers killed Carl.  Everyone who watches TWD knows that Carl is the main character in the comic series and it made absolutely no sense to kill him off.  I'm a Rick fan....and while I still plan to watch til the bitter end....I'm not going to pretend that Rick's departure doesn't bother me because it does and I think it was a great loss and the show won't ever be the same.  IMO....the producers are banking on Daryl's and Carol's popularity without a care or concern that this show centered around Carl and Rick.    

      

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Re: Danai Gurira leaving The Walking Dead


@lmt wrote:

Can't say that this news is surprising at all. With her movie career being so hot I figured she'd be leaving the show soon.

 

I'm really trying to hang in there, but after 9 years it's getting difficult. They killed off way too many popular characters. I couldn't care less about any of the new characters they introduced this season.

 

The most interesting character to come along in ages, Jadis/Ann, is no longer on the show either. I assume she'll be tied into the movies featuring Rick and what happened to him after the helicopter took him away. 

 

Michonne was always one of my favorite characters, along with Carol and Daryl. Not having her on the show anymore may be the final nail in the coffin, for me at least. 

 


@lmt  I agree, no surprise, and shockingly, I havn't liked Michonne so far in season 9, not many appearances and pretty dull, but I will wait until the end to see if my opinion changes.  It will be interesting to see if Carol and Daryl can hold it together, and in a big way.  

 

I didn't realize that Jadis is gone forever from the show.

 

Do you know if the movies are for the theater or will they be for tv?

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Re: Danai Gurira leaving The Walking Dead

I didn't watch any of the reruns AMC aired until tonight.  I finally got to see Negan go over the wall and I wonder if he will find it too difficult out there and return to his captors.  As for Michonne leaving, well I'll miss her but can't blame her for leaving, her career comes first.  So now I have decided to continue watching TWD until such time as I get bored with it.  Having watched since day one I just don't get that excited about it anymore.

The moving finger writes; And having writ, Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line Nor all your Tears Wash out a Word of it. Omar Khayam
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Re: Danai Gurira leaving The Walking Dead


@straykatz wrote:

I think it was a serious mistake when the producers killed Carl.  Everyone who watches TWD knows that Carl is the main character in the comic series and it made absolutely no sense to kill him off.  I'm a Rick fan....and while I still plan to watch til the bitter end....I'm not going to pretend that Rick's departure doesn't bother me because it does and I think it was a great loss and the show won't ever be the same.  IMO....the producers are banking on Daryl's and Carol's popularity without a care or concern that this show centered around Carl and Rick.    

      


 

@straykatz  I couldn't agree more about Carl. I think the show took a serious nosedive right there. Andrew Lincoln leaving the show was like the Statue of Liberty sailing out of New York Harbor. I know Andrew Lincoln wanted off the show, but Chandler Riggs didn't. First the producers assured him they wanted him for the next three years, and then they turn around and fired him. Makes no sense.

 

I think Daryl and Carol are still popular, but their characters have changed too much over the years and not for the good. I'm sick to death of Daryl's constant mumbling and grunting. And would someone please give him a bath and a haircut? Carol has become so boring in her new domestic role. 

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Re: Danai Gurira leaving The Walking Dead


@mousiegirl wrote:

@lmt wrote:

Can't say that this news is surprising at all. With her movie career being so hot I figured she'd be leaving the show soon.

 

I'm really trying to hang in there, but after 9 years it's getting difficult. They killed off way too many popular characters. I couldn't care less about any of the new characters they introduced this season.

 

The most interesting character to come along in ages, Jadis/Ann, is no longer on the show either. I assume she'll be tied into the movies featuring Rick and what happened to him after the helicopter took him away. 

 

Michonne was always one of my favorite characters, along with Carol and Daryl. Not having her on the show anymore may be the final nail in the coffin, for me at least. 

 


@lmt  I agree, no surprise, and shockingly, I havn't liked Michonne so far in season 9, not many appearances and pretty dull, but I will wait until the end to see if my opinion changes.  It will be interesting to see if Carol and Daryl can hold it together, and in a big way.  

 

I didn't realize that Jadis is gone forever from the show.

 

Do you know if the movies are for the theater or will they be for tv?


 

@mousiegirl  Here is some info about the movies:

 

 

Rick Grimes’ departure from The Walking Dead became easier to process once Chief Content Officer Scott Gimple announced our sheriff would return in THREE Walking Dead movies.

 

Although Gimple didn’t reveal much, we know AMC plans to air the films on their network and will begin production sometime this year. Last time we left Rick he was flying away in a helicopter with Jadis/Anne, who used him as an offering in exchange for her own ticket out of there. So what’s next for these two runaways?

 

Following Andrew Lincoln’s final episode of The Walking Dead, fans were thrilled to learn that Rick Grimes’ story will be continuing with a new set of Walking Dead films. The films will pick up with Rick’s story shortly after the events which transpired in his final television episode. At the end of the episode, it seems that Rick sacrifices himself for the survival of his family, but we find that he is still alive, but far from being well, and in Jadis’s (Pollyanna McIntosh) care. Her mysterious helicopters have scooped him up and are taking him somewhere to hopefully recuperate.

 

helicopter 905 walking dead

 

While we know that Lincoln will be leading the films, fans have also been speculating that McIntosh might also be playing a big role in the production since it was her character who saved Rick Grimes. At Walker Stalker Con San Jose, McIntosh all but confirmed that she will be playing a role in the films. She said:

“Yeah, it’s being spoken about by Gimple now so I can be very clear in assuming. We’re going to see where Rick is, so she would be there. That’s a long winded way to say yeah, I hope so. Things are in process right now. It’s exciting. I’m not ready to leave her behind yet.”

If McIntosh were to reprise her The Walking Dead role, the fans in San Jose wanted to know, would she be reprising her role as Jadis or as Jadis’ alter-ego, Anne. Her Jadis personality is clearly more focused on her own survival whereas Anne appears to be more of a team player which is useful to the group. McIntosh had a very straightforward answer for the fans. She said:

“She’s always been Jadis. Whether she’s choosing to be considered as Anne or not at this point is a good question, but I don’t think she needs to be Anne anymore.”

McIntosh also said that we’ll be learning more about Jadis’ past and the community to which she and Rick are traveling. She said:

“There will definitely be more of an understanding of the community that they came from and that I’m going to with them, so yes.”

We can’t wait to see how Jadis’ storyline will continue within The Walking Dead universe.

 

                                              ***************************************

 

"There is more story to tell, and we'll be telling it."  

 

Those are the words of The Walking Dead chief content officer Scott M. Gimple, who is currently writing the first of the untitled series of three big-budget, feature-length movies with production set to begin in 2019 tells The Hollywood Reporter. Still to be determined is an air date and where the movies will film, as Lincoln departed The Walking Dead in order to spend more time with his family in England. The trio of movies are the first of multiple new scripted ventures that will come from Gimple as AMC kicks off its long-term plan to grow its multibillion-dollar franchise.

 

"The story of Rick will go on in films," Gimple says. "Right now, we're working on three but there's flexibility in that. … Over the next several years, we're going to be doing specials, new series are quite a possibility, high-quality digital content, and then some content that defies description at the moment. We're going to dig into the past and see old characters. We're going to introduce new characters and new situations."

 

The movies are the first part of the Gimple-led expansion of the Walking Dead universe.

 

"We look at this as a very long-term proposition," AMC programming president David Madden tells THR of the larger goal for the franchise. The Rick-centric movies, the executive says, will not be like a bonus or extended episode of the show, but rather a "large, big scope movie that will feel like a major motion picture," with a runtime anticipated to come in at around two hours and a feature film-level budget.

 

Other characters from the franchise — like Rick's romantic partner Michonne (Danai Gurira) and Daryl (Norman Reedus) — appearing in the movies (or elsewhere) is also a definite possibility. (Madden notes he has "high hopes" that Rick and Michonne's paths will cross again, despite the fact that Lincoln has filmed his last episode of the flagship series.) The first movie will be told from Rick's point of view and explore what Gimple called the "vast mythology" behind the other mysterious community looking for "A" or "B" type people. "That serves the overall story to this next story we have for Rick," Gimple says.

 

Also on the table: telling earlier stories featuring the returns of fan-favorite characters who are no longer with the series. "I have one of those stories in progress right now," Gimple teases. "[That would] not only give us a chance to work with these wonderful people again, but to answer questions about their characters."

 

 

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Re: Danai Gurira leaving The Walking Dead


@Lindsays Grandma wrote:

I didn't watch any of the reruns AMC aired until tonight.  I finally got to see Negan go over the wall and I wonder if he will find it too difficult out there and return to his captors.  As for Michonne leaving, well I'll miss her but can't blame her for leaving, her career comes first.  So now I have decided to continue watching TWD until such time as I get bored with it.  Having watched since day one I just don't get that excited about it anymore.


 

@Lindsays Grandma  If I never see Negan again it will be too soon. I hated the way they dragged out the 'all out war' with him and the Saviors for years. Constantly giving speeches, the always leaning back......... he was such a BORING character.

 

Image result for negan leaning back

 

 

Image result for negan always leaning

 

 

Image result for negan always leaning

 

I always thought Simon was a much better villain than Negan. Especially with that creepy smile.

 

Image result for simon the walking dead

 

 

Image result for simon the walking dead

 

 

 

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Re: Danai Gurira leaving The Walking Dead


@mousiegirl wrote:

@lmt wrote:

Can't say that this news is surprising at all. With her movie career being so hot I figured she'd be leaving the show soon.

 

I'm really trying to hang in there, but after 9 years it's getting difficult. They killed off way too many popular characters. I couldn't care less about any of the new characters they introduced this season.

 

The most interesting character to come along in ages, Jadis/Ann, is no longer on the show either. I assume she'll be tied into the movies featuring Rick and what happened to him after the helicopter took him away. 

 

Michonne was always one of my favorite characters, along with Carol and Daryl. Not having her on the show anymore may be the final nail in the coffin, for me at least. 

 


@lmt  I agree, no surprise, and shockingly, I havn't liked Michonne so far in season 9, not many appearances and pretty dull, but I will wait until the end to see if my opinion changes.  It will be interesting to see if Carol and Daryl can hold it together, and in a big way.  

 

I didn't realize that Jadis is gone forever from the show.

 

Do you know if the movies are for the theater or will they be for tv?


 

 

@lmt  I liked Michonne last night, so obviously I like her best in warrior mode instead of domestic.

 

Thank you for the details about the upcoming movies.

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Re: Danai Gurira leaving The Walking Dead

The description of the Rick movies sounds alot like what they did with the Star Wars franchise.

 

I haven't cared for Michonne this season.  She seems sullen and like she has a chip on her shoulder.  I won't be sad to see her go, but I will be sad if she takes Judith with her!  I love that character and the girl who plays her.  I like the dynamic between her and Negan, too.  Speaking of which, I think it would be good to see another side of Negan; although, can a leopard change his spots? 

 

I'm liking some of the new characters surprisingly well, which is taking off the edge of missing Carl and Rick.