Norman Reedus and Melissa McBride sign new deals for The Walking Dead

Fan favorites Norman Reedus and Melissa Mcbride have signed new deals to continue appearing in The Walking Dead franchise and Danai Gurira may soon have a similar deal.

The Walking Dead is expanding in a massive way. Yesterday Scott Gimple confirmed that a trilogy of TV movies about Rick Grimes will be going into production soon, hopefully early in 2019. And today The Hollywood Reporter announced that fan favorites Norman Reedus and Melissa McBride have both signed lucrative three-year deals to continue appearing in expanded The Walking Dead universe.

Dania Gurira is in negotiations for a similar deal that would have Michonne continuing to be a force to be recognized for the next three years. Also since the deals cover the entire franchise of The Walking Dead it means that any of these characters could cross over to other shows and films. So don’t lose heart Richonne fans, if Danai Gurira signs a deal similar to McBride’s and Reedus’ Richonne could reunite at some point in the future in a film or a crossover.

The possibilities created by opening up such a huge universe are dazzling. Even if one of the characters that are so loved by fans like Daryl or Carol leaves the original The Walking Dead show they could go to Fear The Walking Dead or another show set within TWD world. Or they could appear in the films that are being created.

Andrew Lincoln isn’t the only character that will be the focus of films. According to Entertainment Weekly there are other film possibilities that include the backstories of other characters and films based on other fan favorites.

What This Means

This is hugely exciting news for fans of The Walking Dead. Many who predicted that the show would end with the departure of Rick Grimes are going to be surprised to learn that essentially The Walking Dead has just launched an entire multi-faceted universe that will include not only the original The Walking Dead show and Fear The Walking Dead but possibly more spinoffs as well as feature-length TV movies that will give the writers and directors the chance to tell more in-depth and layered stories than they have been able to tell before.

AMC programming president David Madden told The Hollywood Reporter:

The deals that we made for Norman and Melissa are franchise deals. Our deals with Norman and Melissa allow us the flexibility to either move them or use them in more than one place, depending on what seems creatively right to Scott and to his partners.

We do look at this as a universe where we’re trying to expand into as many different places as the show fits. We think this is a franchise that could live across formats. So, we want to do it carefully; we want to be strategic; we want to try to do it right. But there is a multi-year plan that could include additional series, digital content and specials.”

With the massive expansion of The Walking Dead world and the deals signed by Norman Reedus and Melissa McBride fans can be sure that at least two of their favorite characters aren’t going to be killed off anytime soon. They may jump from shows to movies or appear in the universe in various ways, but they will be there.

A deal like this would give Danai Gurira the time and space she needs to continue working on film projects like the Black Panther films as well as to continue to her own creative endeavors in the theater and working with Almasi Arts. Let’s hope the next announcement is that Danai has also signed a three-year deal.

But no matter what fans won’t be losing any of the Atlanta Three, at least not for three more years. Rick will be the focus of a trilogy of films and Carol and Daryl won’t be leaving The Walking Dead for at least three years.