Actress Melissa McBride will no longer be appearing in “The Walking Dead” spin-off series.
McBride, who plays Carol Peletier in the flagship series, was supposed to star opposite Norman Reedus and his character Daryl Dixon. Both characters have been around since the very first episode of AMC’s dystopian zombie series.
The news was reported by The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday, which explained the reason for her departure.
Melissa McBride Leaves ‘The Walking Dead’ Spin-Off Series
THR shared a statement by AMC, which stated, “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.”
They continued, “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.”
The untitled spin-off series was first announced in September 2020, but no details about the filming location were announced at the time. McBride, 56, was against filming in Europe for undisclosed reasons. The show has been filming in Atlanta, Georgia, for over a decade.
THR reports that sources close to the situation say that AMC is currently working with McBride to try to create other opportunities for Carol in “The Walking Dead” universe.
Melissa McBride’s Spin-Off Series Was Supposed To Debut In 2023
Although filming hasn’t even started yet, AMC wanted to release the currently-untitled series in 2023, after “The Walking Dead” finished airing its 11th and final season.
Although the series was not announced until September 2020, both Reedus and McBride had signed deals to continue their participation in the series in late 2018. The deals included what THR reports to be “sizable pay raises” for both actors. It also guaranteed that they would be paid should their characters be killed off in the original series. If their characters were killed off (which seems doubtful to happen now with the finale looming), they would have been relocated to another “The Walking Dead” property for the remainder of their contract.
Apparently, both Reedus and McBride originally made $8,500 dollars per episode since season 2. McBride’s pay raise was reported to be about $20 million dollars over three years. If Carol had been killed off, McBride would have transitioned into a new series, a digital offshoot, a mini-series, or another project within “The Walking Dead” franchise to fulfill the remainder of her contract.
Melissa McBride Said That She Was ‘Very Curious’ About The Spin-Off Series
McBride was very enthusiastic about the fledgling spin-off series when it was announced in September 2020.
In a statement made at the time, she had said, “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.”
“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,” she continued. “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!”
McBride would not be the only shocking cast departure from the series. A few years ago, Andrew Lincoln, who starred as protagonist Rick Grimes, shocked fans when he announced that he was leaving the series. Although it was announced that he would return in a trio of movie spin-offs, no details about that project have been announced.