As AMC’s hit zombie show is getting closer to its end, fans of The Walking Dead were given new life when the network announced a Carol and Daryl spinoff series back in 2020. Unfortunately, the upcoming show just lost its leading lady. The Walking Dead star Melissa McBride has left the untitled spinoff that was set to follow her character on a journey with Daryl played by Norman Reedus.
Melissa McBride Exits The Walking Dead Spinoff Series
“Melissa McBride has given life to one of the most interesting, real, human and popular characters in The Walking Dead Universe. Unfortunately, she is no longer able to participate in the previously announced spinoff focused on the Daryl Dixon and Carol Peletier characters, which will be set and filmed in Europe this summer and premiere next year. Relocating to Europe became logistically untenable for Melissa at this time. We know fans will be disappointed by this news, but The Walking Dead Universe continues to grow and expand in interesting ways and we very much hope to see Carol again in the near future,” AMC said in a statement Wednesday.
The Walking Dead star has played Carol Peletier since the pilot episode. She is one of the originals left. Carol may have gone through the most character development from TWD’s season 1 to the eleventh and final season.
The untitled Carol and Daryl spinoff was announced back in September 2020, but no details have been worked out — including the filming location. According to The Hollywood Reporter, when McBride found out about the Europe filming location, she decided against working abroad. The Walking Dead show has filmed in Atlanta for more than 10 years. Though, sources continue to say other opportunities for McBride and Carol are still being discussed.
Carol and Daryl started out as side characters but quickly became fan-favorites of the series. The Walking Dead stars continued to evolve their characters into more leadership roles through the seasons. As their co-stars depart, the bigger their roles have become.
AMC’s announcement of the spinoff show spoiled the series finale as it proved that Carol and Daryl would survive. The spinoff was scheduled to debut sometime in 2023 following the conclusion of the eleventh and final season of The Walking Dead.
Both Walking Dead stars inked big deals with AMC in late 2018. Sizable pay raises for Melissa McBride and Norman Reedus would cover the next three years of the franchise as a whole. They would continue to get paid if their characters are written off and relocated to other TWD properties like the Carol and Daryl spinoff series.
The Walking Dead star took a deal worth an estimated $20 million dollars over three years. Their overall deals would also include the freedom to move among new projects in The Walking Dead Universe.
“I’ve always enjoyed working so closely with Norman throughout these many seasons. In playing Carol, and as a viewer of the show, I’ve also long been intrigued with ‘Daryl and Carol,’ and by what so early on between them, even then, felt somehow bound,” McBride said in September 2020. “Their shared history is long, and each’s own personal fight to survive, even longer — the more obvious aspect of what has kept them close and loyal. But there is also a rather mysterious aspect to their fondness for one another that I enjoy, and their playfulness when the world permits. I’m very curious! Angela has a way of shaking things up in great and unexpected ways. She’s like a kid playing with the dimmer switch! I’m very excited!”
The exit by The Walking Dead star is reminiscent of the shocking departure of Andrew Lincoln who has played the show’s lead character, Rick Grimes, since the first season. Lincoln has been absent for a few years now and is supposed to headline three feature films set in The Walking Dead Universe but there has been no further details since the announcement.
The Walking Dead Season 11 Part 2 just concluded. The third and final part will premiere August 11, 2022.