Sources confirm to TVLine exclusively that McBride will no longer be involved in the offshoot. Instead, the new series will focus on Daryl. UPDATE: Initial buzz suggested the decision to jettison Carol was a creative one, although an AMC rep maintains it was about logistics.
“Melissa McBride has given life to one of the most interesting, real, human and popular characters in The Walking Dead Universe,” a network spokesperson said in a statement to TVLine. “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.”
Announced in September 2020, the project was to revolve around the badass BFFs played by Reedus and McBride, AKA the long-running drama’s only remaining original cast members. Walking Dead-verse chief content officer Scott M. Gimple and Walking Dead showrunner Angela Kang are co-creating the series.
“It’s bittersweet to bring [the flagship series] to an end,” Kang said in a statement at the time, “but I could not be more excited to be working with Scott Gimple and AMC to develop a new series for Daryl and Carol. 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.”
Earlier this month, The Walking Dead aired the last episode in the second of the three arcs that make up the series’ 11th and final season; one more eight-episode arc is still to come, following the conclusion of Fear the Walking Dead’s currently airing Season 7.