By Bruce Ndlovu
As her stock rises in Hollywood, Zimbabwean actress Danai Gurira is set to leave blockbuster TV series The Walking Dead, after reportedly signing a lucrative contract that will see her make sporadic appearances in the 10th season of the hit show.
While The Walking Dead is regarded as one of the most lucrative and popular TV franchises, many feel that Gurira’s departure was a long time coming as she had grown bigger than the series that gave her a big break in Hollywood when it cast her as a sword wielding zombie slayer in its third season.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, under her new deal Gurira will also star in what is expected to be a lucrative trilogy of movies based on the series.
“Under her new deal, Gurira will return in a limited capacity — described as only a handful of episodes — that will be interspersed throughout Season 10. The actress, playwright and social activist will then likely segue to the three Walking Dead movies that AMC is planning with former leading man Andrew Lincoln.
The latter has played the central role of Rick Grimes since the pilot and departed in the first half of season nine,” the Hollywood Reporter said.
AMC, the network that produces the series and representatives for Gurira declined comment.
Gurira’s departure — like Lincoln’s — is considered a creative blow to The Walking Dead.
“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,” AMC programming president David Madden told The Hollywood Reporter in November.
“We really want her to stay. She is an incredibly valuable character and I’m really hoping she stays.
Obviously, the lesson of Andy (Lincoln) 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.” Sunday News.