‘The Walking Dead’: Lauren Cohan’s Departure Saw Dante’s Story Changed Completely To What Was Planned

In the comic book series on which AMC's 'The Walking Dead' is based, Dante plays a very different role.

Composite image featuring Lauren Cohan as Maggie Rhee and Juan Javier Cardenas as Dante
Jackson Lee Davis / AMC

In the comic book series on which AMC's 'The Walking Dead' is based, Dante plays a very different role.

SPOILER ALERT: This article discusses AMC’s The Walking Dead as well as the comic book series on which it is based. Please proceed with caution if you wish to avoid spoilers.

In Season 10 of AMC’s The Walking Dead, the character of Dante (Juan Javier Cardenas) took a decided turn from the source material on which the TV show is based. In the comics, Dante ends up in a romantic relationship with Maggie (Lauren Cohan). However, as the TV series’ showrunner, Angela Kang, recently told The Hollywood Reporter, this storyline was changed after Cohan decided to leave the series in order to film ABC’s Whiskey Cavalier.

“When Lauren was out for a while, it was like, well, we weren’t going to do that version of Dante,” Kang said. “He was on the backburner for us for a bit.”

As a result of Cohan’s departure in Season 9 of The Walking Dead, AMC had to rethink the role that Dante would play moving forward in Season 10. As a result of this, he wound up being a spy for the Whisperers and causing a multitude of issues within the community of Alexandria after he joined as a medic. However, by the midseason finale, an ulterior motive was discovered after he killed Siddiq (Avi Nash), and Rosita (Christian Serratos) was attacked by the character. Finally, Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) was so enraged by Dante’s infiltration and ultimate deception that he killed Dante. As a result of this, there is absolutely no way in which Dante and Maggie can ever end up in a romantic relationship now, even though Maggie is set to return in Season 11 of The Walking Dead.

Seth Gilliam as Father Gabriel Stokes, Juan Javier Cardenas as Dante, asseen in Episode 7 of AMC's 'The Walking Dead' Season 10
  Jace Downs / AMC

Kang also explained that prior to Cohan’s exit, they were still uncertain at which point they would introduce Dante and that if the character would even get the same storyline as in the comics.

“We talked about introducing Dante as a character a few times over the years. It never happened. It never felt like the exact right time.”

However, with Maggie not present in Season 10 and the Whisperers’ cold war starting up against the other communities, Kang and the writers saw an opportunity to go in another direction with the character.

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“We got to talking about how people want to inherently trust doctors and people who are educated, even though there are so many sociopaths among high-achieving people. We started from that place.”

As a result of this, Dante’s characteristics from the comics were still used. However, his personality took on a much darker element as a result of being a spy for the Whisperers.

Episode 8 was the midseason finale for Season 10 of AMC’s The Walking Dead. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, AMC has confirmed the series will return in February 2020.