The Walking Dead: Melissa McBride Exits Carol & Daryl Spinoff

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One of The Walking Dead's most promising spinoffs is getting a complete overhaul.

TV Line is reporting that Melissa McBride will no longer be a part of the planned Daryl and Carol spinoff that was announced when AMC confirmed the flagship series would be ending back in 2020.

The outlet states that Norman Reedus will be the lead of the spinoff as Daryl, with McBride's  exit being deemed a creative decision.

Carol and Daryl - The Walking Dead Season 10 Episode 9

There has been plenty of speculation about whether the series would see the light of day of late, especially with AMC announcing Isle of the Dead, starring Lauren Cohan and Jeffrey Dean Morgan earlier this year.

That show got a title and key art, while the Carol and Daryl series that was confirmed almost two years earlier was becoming a bit like the Rick movies in terms of getting information about them.

AMC has yet to comment on the TV Line report, but it is a concerning development.

The Walking Dead has already wrapped filming on its final season, so it's very likely that Carol's storyline will be left open-ended, and that will not sit well with fans.

Carol at the Border - The Walking Dead Season 10 Episode 14

11 years is a long time to spend watching a series, only to get a lack of resolution.

It's also possible that McBride will be joining another show set in TWD universe or the long-gestating Rick Grimes movies.

"The Walking Dead flagship series has been my creative home for a decade and so it’s bittersweet to bring it to an end, but I could not be more excited to be working with Scott Gimple and AMC to develop a new series for Daryl and Carol," current series showrunner Angela Kang said in 2020.

"Working with Norman Reedus and Melissa McBride has been a highlight of my career and I’m thrilled that we get to keep telling stories together.”  

Carol Has a New Plan - The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 15

AMC is clearly positive about the prospects of the franchise, but it's certainly concerning when one of the most popular stars exits ahead of production.

We have just eight more episodes of The Walking Dead Season 11, and it's hard to be excited when we might not get a satisfying conclusion.

The franchise will launch Tales of The Walking Dead in the summer, while Fear the Walking Dead is set to continue for Season 8.

Carol Talks to Ezekiel - The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 12

There are also rumblings about projects in the works that have yet to be revealed.

What are your thoughts on the decision?

Hit the comments below.

UPDATE: AMC shared a statement with more details on the departure, revealing that it was McBride's decision to depart.

“Melissa McBride has given life to one of the most interesting, real, human and popular characters in The Walking Dead Universe," it reads.

Search Party - The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 14

"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."

"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 statement concluded.

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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