Danai Gurira has confirmed she is leaving The Walking Dead in season 10. Gurira joined The Walking Dead in season 3 of the already popular series as Michonne, a major character from the comics on which the show is based. Just as she became in the comics, it didn't take long for Michonne to become a popular character with viewers of The Walking Dead either. She continued to see her role increased, to the point where she took on a leadership role during last season.
This is why it came as a surprise when reports started to circulate that Gurira could be on her way out. The news came on the heels of Chandler Riggs leaving the series during season 8 and confirmation that Andrew Lincoln and Lauren Cohan were moving on following season 9. Lincoln is going to star in the first movie though, and Cohan could return to the series too. However, it was never confirmed that Gurira's exit was happening, but now it has.
During The Walking Dead's panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2019, Gurira addressed the rumors and confirmed them to be true. She said, "I can confirm that this is the last season I will be on this amazing TV show as Michonne. I am very, very thankful for the experience I’ve had in ways I can’t even express right now." Following her statement, showrunner Angela Kang spoke about how seriously they took the handling of her exit and said, “I hope we haven’t screwed it up."
Even though this is news that is somewhat expected, the loss of Gurira and Michonne on The Walking Dead will still be difficult news for fans to accept. The good news, though, is that there is still season 10 of the series to look forward to seeing more of her. The first image from the upcoming season showed Michonne in action (as she usually is) amid a fiery battle with the undead. She was already expected to have a large role in season 10, but the first trailer for the season teased some major advances in her story, too, which will make it all the more fascinating to see where her story ends.
While many fans may wonder why now is the time that Gurira is deciding to move on from The Walking Dead, the answer is possibly tied to what appears to be a budding film career. She's experienced great success lately as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Okoye, the leader of Wakanda's elite, all-female warrior group known as the Dora Milaje. She debuted in Black Panther last year and also had roles in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, and she should return for Black Panther 2 as well. The added big-screen attention and the acclaim she's received for her work as Michonne has seen her linked to several potential major roles, so leaving The Walking Dead behind can give her the opportunity to take on new roles - even if she'll always be Michonne for many.