Fans of The Walking Dead have seen the show’s stars slowly leave the AMC zombie series over the past few years, and now it looks like another big name may be departing.
Lauren Cohan, who has played beloved character Maggie Greene for seven of the show’s eight seasons, is rumoured to be leaving after she signed onto ABC drama Whiskey Cavalier in a lead role. (She’ll star opposite Scandal actor Scott Foley.)
According to multiple reports, Cohan has been in negotiations with AMC over her salary for TWD‘s upcoming Season 9. The show has already been renewed — with Season 9 to premiere at some point in late 2018 — but Cohan doesn’t currently have a deal in place to return.
The reports say Cohan and her representatives are frustrated with the salary offers from AMC, and while she’s not seeking parity with series lead Andrew Lincoln, she began to look elsewhere for roles when talks with the network weren’t progressing.
On the flip side, other sources are saying that AMC has made “aggressive offers” to keep Cohan on-board for Season 9.
As The Hollywood Reporter postulates, there are only a handful of scenarios available now that Cohan has signed on for the Whiskey Cavalier pilot.
She can leave TWD after Season 8 and re-sign as a regular for Season 9, using the pilot sign-on as leverage; she can leave the series entirely; she can do both Whiskey Cavalier and TWD, only appearing in a few episodes of the latter; or Whiskey Cavalier may fail to be picked up, leaving Cohan out of work.
It remains to be seen what Cohan will choose, but TWD has seen a steady decline in viewership, and considering the show’s longevity, she may be ready for a fresh role on a brand-new series.
Over the past few years, TWD fans have said goodbye to multiple characters, including Carl (Chandler Riggs), Hershel (Scott Wilson) and Glenn (Steven Yeun), among others. The show has a reputation for “killing off” characters, much to longtime fans’ chagrin.
As of this writing, AMC has not commented on Cohan’s status with the series.