One of the recent complaints about The Walking Dead is that its announced spin-offs seem to preclude any of the main particpating characters actually being killed off (it’s hard to headline a show when you don’t have an on-screen pulse). Well, incoming news could set the undead cat amongst the apocalyptic pigeons. News comes today that one of the most-anticipated spin-offs from the cult hit has just lost one of its leads.
Melissa McBride, who plays Carol Peletier was due to headline the new (untitled) series alongside Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon. The two characters have had a strong, emotional bond through much of the run and it seemed like a natural decision to continue and expand on that relationship beyond the scope of the main show – which is due to end later this year.
The formal announcement from AMC says that the reason for McBride pulling out is down to the logistics of the new show which looks to start shooting in Europe soon, though there is speculation that there were also creative reasons, especially since her involvement has been known for some time and this departure comes so close to production.
“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 spin-off focused on the Daryl Dixon and Carol Peletier characters, which will be set and filmed in Europe this summer and premiere next year. 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…”
This obviously, fundamentally, changes the construct of the spin-off, but just how still remains to be seen, though before the announcement it wasn’t even known the European shooting location for the show (until now a majority of the series and its spin-offs have filmed in Georgia). Production on The Walking Dead finished several weeks ago and it would be near impossible to change where the finale leaves those characters (most likely together in some way). It is likely that some sort of story with Daryl will continue as Reedus has proven to be one of the most popular characters in the show’s 10+ year run and a lot of work has gone into the concept.