Update: Lauren Cohan explains why she's leaving The Walking Dead in season 9.
The Walking Dead star Lauren Cohan may indeed be coming back to play Maggie in season 9, but she won't appear in every episode. While that fact may be disappointing to fans of Maggie, they should be mindful that things almost turned out a lot worse for the character. Back in February, it was first reported that Cohan might not return for TWD season 9, due the multiple offers she was receiving to star in various pilots. That makes sense, as she's one of the cast members that rocketed from mostly unknown to big Hollywood name due to their stint on the series.
Plus, Cohan has been playing Maggie since back in season 2, and it's not hard to understand why she might want to do something different with her career at this juncture. Still, Walking Dead's producers stressed that they were trying to work out a new deal with Cohan, who reportedly was seeking a large pay raise that would put her more in line with some of her male co-stars. At one point, King Ezekiel actor Khary Payton even publicly implored AMC to "pay the woman." Whether she got exactly what she wanted is unclear, but it was confirmed in April that Cohan will return for season 9.
Unfortunately for Walking Dead fans, Lauren Cohan's return for season 9 comes with a catch. Before agreeing to come back, she had already booked a lead role in ABC pilot Whiskey Cavalier, which was eventually picked up to series. This means she'll have to split her time between the two shows. For now, TV Line reports that Cohan will appear in six of season 9's first eight episodes. Whether or not she'll appear in season 9's second half - or if so, how many episodes she'll appear in - is still up in the air.
As fans will recall, the resolution to Walking Dead season 8 seemed to be placing Maggie and Rick on a collision course due to Rick deciding not to kill Negan. Maggie is certainly entitled to want to see the Savior leader dead, after he brutally caved in the skull of her husband Glenn. Still, Rick definitely had his reasons for making the choice he made. While it's hard to imagine Maggie and Rick actually going to war after all they've been through together, the post-apocalypse leads to strange and unexpected things.
With Maggie appearing in less episodes of season 9 - and still not being certain for its second half - one wonders if the still currently pregnant Hilltop leader will be the next fan favorite to meet their end. On one hand, killing off a pregnant woman would be sure to receive lots of backlash. On the other, Walking Dead killed off Lori Grimes during childbirth back in season 3 - and then had her own son shoot her - so clearly the series isn't concerned about pushing the envelope of good taste.
The Walking Dead season 9 premieres this fall on AMC.
Source: TV Line