Showrunner Angela Kang Talks The Walking Dead Finale, Michonne’s Role Next Season, and More
Despite her acting career taking off, actress Danai Gurira is still slated to play a significant role in the series’ upcoming tenth season.
By Chris Morse
With the airing of The Walking Dead’s season finale, all eyes are now firmly looking ahead to what lies in store for Season 10, especially with many questions lingering on what stars may or may not return and others who are set to have a reduced role. We don’t yet know what the future holds for Michonne actress Danai Gurira or Lauren Cohan’s Maggie, but showrunner Angela Kang did share some new details for next season in a chat with Deadline.
For starters, the executive producer opted not so say much about the voice on the radio, which is the stance she took while appearing on Talking Dead following the season finale’s airing. Although the show may change things up or use the radio to tell additional stories, comic book readers might assume the voice making contact will help set up a future story beyond the Whisperers, particularly with respect to the Commonwealth, which is a story arc still ongoing in the source material.
Regardless of that, fans have certainly had some concerns over what may come of Michonne, due to Gurira’s breakout status in film that is quickly demanding she spend less time on the long-running television series. Kang offered some assurance to viewers that she will very much still be “a significant part of Season 10,” mentioning that her reduced role will require some creative scheduling, but it’s something they are happy to accommodate as the show continues.
Well, we are going to be doing some creative things with the order in which we write and shoot things so that she’s sort of woven in a little bit. With Black Panther, Avengers and plays of her own and everything I think Danai obviously is having an amazing career moment. She’s like an international treasure.
So we’ve kind of known that she would have a reduced role this coming season. We’re excited to tell a nice, meaty story with her for Season 10 regardless, I can tell you.
I’m also so thrilled with all the great attention she’s gotten for the work she’s done on the show this year. Danai is not only an amazing athlete and warrior on the show, but she’s such an incredible dramatic actress too in my opinion.
Naturally, no discussion is complete at this point without touching upon the Whisperers, our zombie-mask-wearing band of antagonists who just killed a slew of community members. Our survivors made it through the wintery season finale unscathed, but this threat will very much remain on the forefront of Season 10.
Kang elaborated on where that story might go next year, also commenting further on closure surrounding Rick’s exit, the radio, and how those unknowns will be used as plot devices to continue the story. Read her lengthy comments previewing what’s ahead below.
What’s funny is I think you’ve kind of hit all the major things. Obviously, from a giant plot standpoint the thing that I want people to key into is the twist we’re trying to play with when an antagonist on our show has made a big move like committing a mass murder.
Now, things ramp up and it’s time to go to war, but, to add another twist, the Whisperers are not your normal group. They’re not behind walls somewhere. You can’t just go knock on their door and have guns pointed at their gates. That’s not them. We’re playing with the expectations of are they even where they say they are at any given time. They’re migratory.
We picture that they move South for the winter but then who knows what that means and the fact is we didn’t see them go. Our Survivors don’t know if they’re going to see them come. We want to setup the conflict with Whisperers is not going to be like the conflicts we’ve had with other groups that are safe behind walls.
The other thing is obviously there’s this voice on the radio. What does that mean? Who is it? The answer to that will provide some interesting twists for the story going forward. Obviously, the idea is that Rick and Maggie and all these people are alive in our universe. That’s part of the thing for our characters who don’t have full closure on Rick. That is something that remains an open question and may play into the story going forward in certain ways.
Although the showrunner still hopes Maggie can return at some point, she has no information to share on that front at this time. Unfortunately, there was no update to share on other projects in The Walking Dead universe just yet either, especially with regard to the upcoming Rick Grimes movies we are all patiently awaiting.
What I know is stuff is in the works and people are churning away at things. A lot of pieces are moving around and places are being picked and scripts are being written and things are happening. But, I’m in my own corner. So, I run into the guys and they say we’re working on all these things. However, beyond that, the details, I think it’s really up to them to kind of talk about. Truthfully, right now, I don’t have that much I can share with you anyway.
The biggest questions surrounding the series still remain unanswered, but we at least have several key areas to look forward to with respect to the Whisperers, the radio, and the franchise universe as a whole. For now, though, it’s time to put the dead to rest for a few months as the team gears up to bring the tenth season to life later this year.
As always, stay tuned to Dead Entertainment for all the latest news and updates on The Walking Dead.