Lauren Cohan is now confirmed to be rejoining the cast of AMC’s The Walking Dead for its eleventh season. Having taken a break from the series halfway through its ninth season, Cohan has decided to come back to the apocalyptic wasteland that was her second home for several years.
The Walking Dead, adapted from the comics series by Robert Kirkman, has been AMC’s biggest hit for nearly a decade, with a thriving, active viewership. So when Cohan’s fan-favorite character, Maggie, disappeared from the on-screen proceedings this past season, her absence was deeply felt. The explanation for her disappearance after a mid-season six-year time jump was that Maggie left her leadership role at the Hilltop to aid the mysterious Georgie in setting up a new community. But it now seems that this cryptic fate for the character will be fleshed out after just one more Maggie-less season, the premiere of which airs tomorrow night.
Variety reported today that AMC has announced the official renewal of The Walking Dead for an eleventh season, and with it, Cohan’s return to the show as a series regular. Both showrunner Angela Kang and AMC Networks Ent. Group/AMC Studios president Sarah Barnett were present at the Paleyfest Walking Dead panel to relay the news, and to express their joy in welcoming Cohan back to the show.
Barnett stated to the crowd, “We’re delighted to welcome back Lauren Cohan. She has meant so much to this show and its passionate, global fanbase, who are in for a fantastic ride over the coming months.” Kang spoke in depth about the creative process involved in running the show. Alluding loosely to Cohan’s departure and return, she talked about how her team is always thinking about future seasons, and that, while plans may change, this affords a deeper dive into the evolution of characters and their journey within the story.
With that sentiment in mind, viewers are left wondering how Maggie’s return will play out on screen, and how her activities during her time away will factor into the narrative. While Georgie’s community is a mystery on the show, it is likely to be revealed as The Commonwealth from the comic book storyline. In the comics, the Commonwealth is immense, and much more advanced a society than any depicted on the show thus far. Further, the recent conclusion to the comics series depicted a future human ‘safe zone,’ which has absorbed both Alexandria and the Commonwealth. Maggie serves as the elected President of this zone. Will Maggie’s trajectory follow the same path in live-action? We’ll have to wait until season 11 to find out.
The Walking Dead returns with its season 10 premiere tomorrow night, October 6, on AMC.