With the news that Andrew Lincoln is just leaving The Walking Dead series proper, and not the expanded universe as a whole (as he has signed on for multiple movies), the natural question is: what other characters might get their own spinoffs? Walking Dead chief content officer Scott Gimple spoke about how a Maggie-centric movie could be a possibility, and also mentioned that the expanded universe is a place where we might also get prequel stories for fan-favorites that are no longer with us.
So for now, AMC is locking down its talent as best it can to keep them within that universe. Today, THR reports that Norman Reedus (Daryl) and Melissa McBride (Carol) have both signed new three-year, franchise-spanning deals that ensures they will continue to get paid even if their characters are written off or they’re moved to an offshoot or spinoff property. For Reedus, that amounts to $350,000 per episode with guarantees and advances, worth anywhere from $50-90 million overall. McBride has also received a “sizable pay bump”, estimated at $20 million over the course of the new contract. Both actors were part of the Season 1 cast and recurred in Season 2, where they made $8,500 an episode, but will now have the freedom to move around within the Walking Dead universe.
AMC programming president David Madden told THR:
“The deals that we made for Norman and Melissa are franchise deals. Our deals with Norman and Melissa allow us the flexibility to either move them or use them in more than one place, depending on what seems creatively right to Scott and to his partners. We do look at this as a universe where we’re trying to expand into as many different places as the show fits. We think this is a franchise that could live across formats. So, we want to do it carefully; we want to be strategic; we want to try to do it right. But there is a multi-year plan that could include additional series, digital content and specials.”
Danai Gurira is also in negotiations for a new contract, since she’s become such a break-out star after Michonne became a recurring character in Season 3. Madden said of Gurira’s future with the show: “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.”
Gimple did add for any concerned fans though that, “seeing other characters from the show in other ways is absolutely a possibility. ButThe Walking Dead will remain The Walking Dead and telling great stories with Carol, Daryl and Michonne. So that is the priority with those characters.”
For more of The Walking Dead, check out our continuing coverage and these recent stories:
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