You Came & You Slayed All The Zombies. But They've Sent You Away, Oh Maggie
Last week, fans of AMC's The Walking Dead were dealt a huge blow, because Andrew Lincoln will be leaving the show in its ninth season. Surprising, I know, more so given his comic book counterpart is alive and kicking. Well, brace yourself for news of another departure and while this one has been expected for a while now, it's shocking to find out how soon they'll leaving.
Season 9 will also be Maggie Rhee‘s last walk with the zombies and it'll be an abbreviated one at that. According to THR, Lauren Cohan will only film six episodes of the upcoming season. Which, by the math, means she'll be meeting her end in the mid-season finale. And should that sound familiar, because it's exactly what's happening to Andrew Lincoln.
Well, this is a real dick punch from AMC. Normally, one would think losing two of your shows best actors, simultaneously, is sign of shitstorms to come, but changes to a cast aren't unexpected when a new showrunner takes over. Angela Kang is shaking some shit up, and arguably, it's long overdue. The show has suffered a bit in recent years and some drastic changes are needed to shake off that Scott Gimple stank. Just not too drastic.
Cohan and Lincoln leaving the show is one thing. It's the zombie-apocalypse, people are snacks and they've had a real good run. I get it. The issue is more with AMC and how they could have avoided it. Easily. All AMC had to do was simply pay Lauren Cohan the salary level she deserved and asked for. She was looking for a salary on par with co-stars Lincoln and Norman Reedus.
After AMC, bafflingly, would not pay her, they let her away to film a pilot for another show. On a different network. And it got picked up to series. You know what? Good for her. She absolutely deserves it and I hope her new show is a hit. TWD, however, might be in a bit of trouble and they know it.
Maggie has been built as Rick's successor for a longtime now and AMC letting Cohan go is a huge mistake. To soften the blow, AMC is looking to perhaps the most beloved cast member to lead the show.
AMC is talks with Norman Reedus and will offer him a Scrooge McDuckian amount of cash to stick around; word is it's $20 million. While Reedus is not a bad choice, and you can see the logic from AMC's POV, I think they should look to two different cast members to lead the charge. I would much prefer if Khary Payton's King Ezekiel and Jeffrey Dean Morgan's Negan both filled in the "Grimes Hole".
They each possess the necessary qualities one prizes in a leading actor, especially for a show of this genre. Payton and D Morgan both can deliver the big speeches, each is exceedingly charming and as actors they can hit the required dramatic notes. No offense to Norman Reedus, but his role as Darly is largely comprised of grunting, whisper shouting and always being dusty, yet wildly handsome. Not terrible qualities, but you need someone who can do the big speeches like Cohan and Lincoln. Rick and Maggie leave some exceedingly large boots to fill and it'll take some pretty special people to replace them.
Now, the only question is how in the fuck will they kill off both Maggie and Rick? I think it's death by Whisperer. How about you?