Actor Danai Gurira, who first appeared in 'The Walking Dead' season 3 as Michonne announced at the San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) 2019 that she will no longer be a part of the show.
She confirmed that the upcoming season will be it for her and said, "TWD Family is forever, and it never ends. It was a very difficult decision, but it was about my calling and other opportunities I wanted to explore.” The actor also added that her heart will never leave. This was hard for fans who attended the panel as they had just witnessed the trailer of season 10, which featured a great scene of Michonne. At the end of the panel, Gurira received a standing ovation from the attendees and she was visibly stunned.
Danai just got a standing ovation from Hall H after announcing her departure from #TheWalkingDead pic.twitter.com/yGES4y52MS— The Walking Dead (@TheWalkingDead) July 19, 2019
Gurira thanked her fans and said, "I’d just like to say that this has been one of the purest joys of my life, to play this role, and to be amongst these people and those that are not here right now and amongst all of you. I’m very, very thankful for the experience I’ve had in ways that I can’t even express right now. My heart does not leave in any way shape or form.”
Showrunner Angela Kang spoke about Gurira and said, "It’s been a remarkable journey that we’ve been on with her and it’s been remarkable to see her just blooming and spreading her wings. On the writing side, we take this very seriously. In the same way that we were working on an exit for Andy, we approached it with the same level of seriousness and wanting to do right by this incredible actress and the story. I hope we haven’t screwed it up."
Kang also added, "We’ve put her through her paces this year. She brought the A++ game as she always does... we saw a little clip of her in a mysterious pose with Lucille so we’ll learn some more about that, and I’m just excited for people to see the depth and beauty of her work as always. We will miss the hell out of her."
About the upcoming season, Gurira who is a monster slayer in the show spoke about her character's daughter and said, "Michonne has the most amazing daughter in the world." Actor Cailey Fleming who plays the role of Judith Grimes in season 10 also chose to compliment Gurira by saying, "Danai is just so fierce with her sword."
With reference to the 'other opportunities' she has been wanting to explore, fans have already seen her work in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Okoye in both Black Panther and the Avengers films. In fact, speculations are strong that she is expected to return for a spin-off film with former co-star Andrew Lincoln.