Danai Gurira is leaving The Walking Dead.
The actor joined the show in season three as Michonne but, according to The Hollywood Reporter, has now signed a deal to make season 10 her final appearance.
Even then, she will return in a limited capacity, appearing a handful of episodes interspersed across the season.
Much like her co-star Andrew Lincoln, who played Rick Grimes on the show and who left in the first half of season nine, Gurira will then likely form a part of the three Walking Dead movies that network AMC currently has planned. Both characters are integral to the show’s source comic, created by Robert Kirkman.
AMC’s programming president David Madden had already hinted at Gurira’s departure, noting that the actor is now in far higher demand, thanks to her role as Okoye in Marvel blockbuster Black Panther and her stage work. Her 2012 play The Convert, starring Black Panther co-star Letitia Wright, has just ended a London run.
This year, she is set to return as Okoye in the highly anticipated Avengers: Endgame and is in the midst of adapting Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah into a miniseries that she will produce alongside her other Black Panther co-star, Lupita Nyong’o, who will also star.
“She has been very vocal about saying that she loves the show. We love Danai; we love that character. Right now, she’s got a lot of opportunities and she needs to weigh what she feels is best for her. But we certainly would want her on the show as long as she wants to be on it,” Madden said.
“We really want her to stay. She is an incredibly valuable character and I’m really hoping she stays. Obviously, the lesson of Andy [Lincoln] is that the show can survive anybody’s departure if need be, but that’s not our goal. The goal is to have Danai continue on whatever basis she can make work, given the other things that she has going on in her life.”