The Walking Dead star Lauren Cohan has revealed alternate plans for the flagship series that would have seen Maggie as the lead character for another four years. In November 2022, The Walking Dead ended, with its story continuing through multiple spinoffs starring major characters from the original show. The first of these, The Walking Dead: Dead City, focuses on Cohan’s Maggie and Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Negan on a mission to rescue her son Hershel in New York City.
However, speaking with Buzzfeed, Cohan revealed original plans for The Walking Dead‘s future included her and Morgan taking over as the show’s main characters for another four years. This route would have involved Norman Reedus, who plays Daryl, leaving the series after The Walking Dead season 11. Check out Cohan’s full statement below:
Before I even went back to The Walking Dead at the end of Season 10, Scott Gimple had asked me about my interest in either coming back on the show or doing a different show. Originally what they ended up deciding to do was have me come back on the show and then have Jeff [Dean Morgan] and I ‘take over.’ At the time, Norman [Reedus] was going to leave, Andy [Lincoln] had already left, Danai [Gurira] had left. We were gonna go into Season 11 and do four more years with the show, with Jeff and I kind of remaining on The Walking Dead.
And in the end, they had this idea for Dead City, with our characters in a whole new location with a new storyline and that sounded really exciting because it meant we could jump forward in time.
Why Spinoffs Are A Better Direction For The Walking Dead
Cohan’s revelation about The Walking Dead‘s alternate direction indicates there were four years worth of stories planned for the show that will no longer be happening. However, with Cohan and Morgan leading The Walking Dead: Dead City, the pair have a different way to continue their story, albeit in a new setting. It’s unclear if The Walking Dead: Dead City would have happened if the main series continued through season 15. The same goes for The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon and Rick and Michonne’s spinoff, which may not have been produced if The Walking Dead continued.
The decision to split major characters off into spinoff series indicates a new direction for The Walking Dead that can lend to the franchise’s storytelling capabilities. With smaller casts and seasons, The Walking Dead spinoffs allow characters like Maggie, Negan, Daryl, Rick, and Michonne to get a larger focus. Spinoffs also give The Walking Dead franchise more freedom to explore different stories and settings, using familiar characters to broaden The Walking Dead universe.
While it would be interesting to learn what The Walking Dead seasons 12 through 15 would have looked like, The Walking Dead‘s current trajectory is a welcome change of pace for the franchise. Maggie and Negan may not be leading the flagship series, but The Walking Dead: Dead City still offers a new adventure with the characters, setting the stage for Daryl, Rick, and Michonne’s reappearances. Even if The Walking Dead is over, the universe is only just beginning to expand.