After landing a role in ABC's new series Whiskey Cavalier, actress Lauren Cohan is set to be one of two actors officially bowing out of AMC's popular zombie apocalypse drama in the upcoming ninth season, but Cohan's "open-ended" exit will leave room for her to return sometime in season 10, at least according to new showrunner Angela Kang.
"I'll say first of all that we've still planned some more story with Maggie, Lauren wants to, it will be a little subject to her schedule but hopefully we have her back next season," Kang told ComicBook.com during a recent set visit. "We have always planned to have this great story with Maggie this season and I think we promised something. We wanted to pay off that promise. We definitely have a very strong Maggie arc."
Cohan has been a fan-favorite on the series ever since her introduction on the Greene family farm in season two, and her exit from The Walking Dead is set to leave a gaping hole, as her onscreen counterpart had risen to become leader of the Hilltop, one of the few surviving communities. While Maggie will feature heavily during the few episodes that she is in, Kang teased that her absence will open up more possibilities for other characters and storylines.
"It also opens up some interesting opportunities for other characters when that character is gone for reasons that will be explained in the story," Kang said. "That's part of the story going forward, is what's happening at Hilltop? How do people with Maggie not being there?"
Season nine is set to deliver a double blow to both the characters and the fans, as lead character Rick Grimes is also set to make his exit from the series, actor Andy Lincoln's departure a more permanent fixture as he heads back to England to spend time with family. However, just like with Cohan, there is the possibility of Lincoln returning to Senoia, Georgia, albeit in a spot behind the camera rather than in front of it, the actor revealing that he is hoping to direct an episode in season 10, following in the footsteps of other TWD franchise actors Michael Cudlitz and Colman Domingo.
The Walking Dead season nine premieres on Sunday, Oct. 7 at 9 p.m. ET following the season four finale of Fear The Waling Dead on Sunday, Sept. 30.