While the departure of Andrew Lincoln last fall was a seismic event in The Walking Dead universe (even though he will be continuing on in a series of TWD movies), the show suffered another major blow last season when Lauren Cohan announced she was leaving — at least temporarily — to go star in ABC’s spy adventure series Whiskey Cavalier.
But with Whiskey Cavalier’s cancellation on May 12, the question became: Would Cohan be able to return to play Maggie Rhee in season 10 of The Walking Dead? We asked showrunner Angela Kang exactly that. “I’m not sure if I can say much about it right now actually,” says Kang. “I’ll just say that we’re working on it.”
While that sounds optimistic, there are no doubt several issues that would have to be worked out to bring Cohan back into the fold. First off, AMC and the actress would have to agree on financial terms — something they were having trouble doing before Cohan jumped ship for ABC. And then there is the question of whether the story could be retrofitted to work Maggie back into it.
The series explained Maggie’s absence after the season 9 time-jump by saying that she had left the Hilltop with baby Hershel to join Georgie’s group in the hopes of helping other communities rebuild. But bringing the character back may not be so easy. When Whiskey Cavalier was canceled, The Walking Dead had already begun filming on season 10, with a season-long story arc already mapped out. It is unknown whether there were contingencies built in to include Cohan should she be freed from her ABC contract. If not, it might require some serious remapping to make it work.
There is also the possibility that Cohan could rejoin The Walking Dead universe in another way. She could join Lincoln (and possibly Danai Gurira?) in the already announced trilogy of TWD films, or star in her own franchise movie. Or she could possibly join the third scripted Walking Dead series that will begin filming this summer in Virginia, but that seems unlikely due to timeline issues (although it has not been announced when that new series will take place).
According to the network, that series “will feature two young female protagonists and focus on the first generation to come-of-age in the apocalypse as we know it. Some will become heroes. Some will become villains. In the end, all of them will be changed forever. Grown-up and cemented in their identities, both good and bad.” Some casting on that third show was just revealed this week.
In any event, Kang’s words that they are working on bringing the fan favorite Cohan back into The Walking Dead universe is about as good of news as anyone can expect in a zombie apocalypse.
We’ll have a new piece of Walking Dead scoop every weekday leading up the show’s Comic-Con panel in San Diego on July 19.