Spoilers ahead! Enter at your own risk!
Initially reported last week, there are quite a few potential post-apocalyptic shake-ups coming down the line for AMC’s The Walking Dead. Reports are that the show’s lead, Andrew Lincoln, who plays Rick Grimes, will be exiting during the upcoming 9th season. While this has not been confirmed by AMC themselves, multiple outlets have reported the potential exodus. Lincoln has been with the show since the initial episode and has been its most emotionally toyed with character.
Adding insult to injury came the news that long-time cast member Lauren Cohan, who portrays the Hilltop’s leader Maggie Rhee, will be leaving sometime during the season as well. Cohan has been a staple of the show since Season 2 but there have been numerous reports regarding tumultuous contract negotiations between AMC and her representatives. Cohan is anticipated to appear in only 6 episodes of the forthcoming season. Given the fact that Cohan has seen success on the big screen, coupled with her being tapped as lead on an ABC comedy entitled Whiskey Cavalier , it’s all but given that we will see the end of Maggie’s character arc as well.
There has been no shortage of controversy regarding the direction the show in the past few seasons. The maliciously gorey deaths of Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) and Glenn (Steven Yeun) during the Season 7 premiere polarized the fan base, causing some die-hards to leave the show completely. Couple the demise of those characters with the agonizing death of Carl (Chandler Riggs) during Season 8 and a tonal shift is almost complete.
Where do these changes leave us? Speculation is that Norman Reedus, who plays fan-favorite Daryl Dixon, is set to receive quite a large bump in pay… somewhere in the neighborhood of $20 million!
So as we potentially bid farewell to two of the most beloved characters on the show, fans can only hope that the changes being made will lead to more fluid seasons with better character development for the remaining cast – specifically everyone’s favorite badass Carol Peltier and sultry-voiced sovereign King Ezekiel.
Let us know what you think in the comment section! Are these changes good for the show? Do you like where they’re headed with Season 9 in late 2018?
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