If speculations prove true, Chandler Riggs’ Carl Grimes will not be the last main character to die in the hit television series from AMC, The Walking Dead. Michonne, played by Danai Gurira, may possibly follow the path Lauren Cohan is rumored to be taking and leave the show for other opportunities.
The rumor involving Gurira stems from her brilliant turn as Okoye in the blockbuster Marvel film Black Panther. According to Forbes, Gurira was so great in Black Panther that more projects are expected to come her way. Once the offers come, Gurira may need to decide between staying with the show or having her Michonne character killed off to open up her busy schedule.
As Forbes pointed out, the stars of The Walking Dead rarely have time to do other projects due to the show’s tight schedule. In fact, former main cast members such as Jon Bernthal (Shane Walsh), Michael Rooker (Merle Dixon), Steven Yeun (Glenn Rhee), and Sonequa Martin-Green (Sasha Williams) got other major gigs only after they left the show.
Bernthal and Rooker are now part of the Marvel universe as Frank Castle in The Punisher and Yondu Udonta in the two Guardians of the Galaxy films. Yeun starred in the horror movie Mayhem and the Netflix film Okja. Martin-Green, meanwhile, is the lead actor in the new TV series Star Trek: Discovery.
The possible reason why Gurira was able to shoot her scenes for Black Panther and Infinity War is that the movies and the TV show were filmed in Georgia. If Gurira receives a new major project that would require her to film in a different location, she may be forced to make a career-altering decision. Given her breakout portrayal of Okoye, Gurira is destined and would want to build upon her current achievements and parlay them into bigger roles.
It’s also common for actors to cut ties with a certain role to avoid being stereotyped. This is why Hugh Jackman has let go of Wolverine and Chris Evans is leaving his Captain America alter ego after his contract with Marvel expires. Gurira has portrayed Michonne for six years now starting from Season 3. Gurira is expected to be back for Season 9, though.
Lauren Cohan is also rumored to be leaving The Walking Dead since she has signed on for the ABC drama pilot Whiskey Cavalier, as Entertainment Weekly reported. If Whiskey Cavalier gets picked up, Cohan and Maggie Greene are likely out of the apocalyptic zombie series. A scenario similar to this may be in the near future for Danai Gurira and The Walking Dead, but her leaving the show is mere speculation for now.
The Walking Dead returns tomorrow, February 25 at 9/8c on AMC.