Another major character is set to depart The Walking Dead as Danai Gurira, who plays Michonne, will leave the AMC series in season 10. Gurira has been a series regular since season 3. Her character has played a pivotal role in the show over the course of the last seven seasons. Michonne went from a key member of Rick's group to the mother of Rick's second child, R.J.
Unsurprisingly, it was announced earlier this week that AMC had renewed The Walking Dead for season 10. The expectation for season 10 is that it will continue the conflict with the Whisperers, a gang of murderous humans pretending to be zombies. The storyline involving the Whisperers began to unfold in the last few episodes of season 9, and may continue for some time.
THR reports that Danai Gurira has signed a deal to return for The Walking Dead season 10, but only for "a handful of episodes." Season 10 will reportedly be Gurira's last, but the character may still return in The Walking Dead universe. According to THR, it seems that Michonne will reappear in the three Walking Dead TV movies. It's possible that Gurira's departure is connected to the actress' status as a rising star in Hollywood, with roles in blockbuster films like Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War.
Gurira has become the latest major cast member to leave the series. Carl (Chandler Riggs), who had been on the show since the beginning of the series, was famously killed off in season 8. Though the loss of Carl came as a huge shock, it could barely compare with the news that the series lead, Andrew Lincoln, would be leaving The Walking Dead in season 9, followed by Lauren Cohan. Their characters were written off the show after just five episodes. After it was revealed that Rick survived the events of his final episode, it was announced that Rick would return in the form of three TV films. It now seems likely that the films will feature a Rick and Michonne reunion. It's also possible that the movies will show the two exiting The Walking Dead universe together.
Regardless of what happens with the movies, Gurira's exit will undoubtedly have a huge effect on the show going forward, particularly since the back half of season 9 is expected to put a considerable focus on Michonne, now that she has assumed a new "position of power".