At an emotional San Diego Comic Con Hall H panel the cast and producers talked honestly about longtime cast member Danai Gurira’s exit from The Walking Dead. Gurira held back tears after answering moderator Chris Hardwick’s question about whether she was for sure leaving the show. She spoke openly about her choice, explaining, “I can confirm that this is the last season.” She added, “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.” She explained that although she may be physically leaving that she personally will always feel connected to it. “I will say my heart does not leave in any way, shape or form,” she added. “The beauty of this show is that T.W.D. family is forever and the first time I came here in 2012 I felt this energy and it doesn’t ever end, the connection between us never ends. That’s what keeps me going. The decision I made was a very difficult one.” She ended solemnly explaining, “It was about my calling in a sense and other things I feel called to.” As she concluded her cast members and all of Hall H joined in a standing ovation in gratitude of her part in the supremely successful show.
The panel also revealed at its conclusion the first formal announcement of the long-promised feature film The Walking Dead starring Andrew Lincoln. Read more about that announcement here.
Later on at a private press conference cast members took questions from members of the media. We had the chance to inquire of Executive Producer Gale Anne Hurd on whether any thought had been given to whether or when The Walking Dead TV show would end now that Robert Kirkman had abruptly ended his seemingly endless comic book series that the show was created from. Hurd answered diplomatically explaining it was likely a question for the higher-ups at AMC. “That’s more of a question probably for Scott Gimple, AMC and Angela (Kang),” she said. “I have to tell you, I read the comic book. I thought it was brilliant. Maybe a part of it is because Robert Kirkman thanked us which he didn’t have to do. And I loved that he had it hopeful, in a hopeful world.” She continued, “We have a long way to go before we get there, and the great thing about the television series is that we can either jump ahead by a number of years or we could play those intervening years out on the show. I think that will be a question of decisions made at a higher level but I think it’d be great for the cast.”
All photos by Raymond Flotat