What started off as a singular show and adaptation of Robert Kirkman’s ongoing zombie comic is slowly expanding into a fully-fleshed and realized world. The Walking Dead is no doubt a huge cash cow for AMC and that train isn’t slowing down anytime soon. We have Fear the Walking Dead going strong as well, and now AMC is set to further expand its universe not just with the ongoing adventures of Rick Grimes, who did survive his final episode, but with other actors in the show’s roster as well.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Melissa McBride and Norman Reedus, who portray Carol Peletier and Daryl Dixon respectively, have recently signed three-year deals that, according to sources, indicates that if their characters are sent elsewhere in the world of The Walking Dead — similar to Lennie James’ Morgan Jones being relocated to Fear the Walking Dead — the actors themselves would continue to be compensated for their roles. In other worlds, they can take part in roles within this universe that aren’t necessarily tied to the flagship show.
With streaming already serving as king and digital entertainment being the go-to method for how we consume information, AMC is hoping to capitalize on this by building out its Walking Dead world with miniseries, films, and ongoing projects. Think the “Red Machete” project, but on a bigger scale. However, the potential X Factor in this is Danai Gurira. While Gurira’s Michonne is still a huge deal on the series, the actress’ star has continued to shine brighter, in particular with her roles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
More than that, while these projects are a sign of the series expanding its horizon, the show itself is still a priority, with new showrunner Angela Kang continuing to lead the ship there while Scott Gimple oversees the entirety of the franchise.
And AMC President David Madden has been vocal about Gurira’s involvement with The Walking Dead and how he hopes that she’ll continue to play a role as the series progresses:
“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. We really want her to stay. She is an incredibly valuable character and I’m really hoping she stays. Obviously, the lesson of Andy 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.”
So it seems that the higher-ups at AMC are willing to work with the actors and fit within their schedule, in particular as they grow busier, but this is no doubt just one step as the network continues to build out its world. What do you think of the expansion plans for The Walking Dead? Let us know in the comments below.
The Walking Dead airs at 9 P.M. on AMC.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter