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Scott Gimple Was “Dead Set Against” Killing Carol

April 12, 2019

The Walking Dead chief content officer and executive producer Scott Gimple once fought to keep Carol (Melissa McBride) when talks during Season Three pointed to the grieving mother “going away.”

“I was dead set against it, because I thought it would be a great story to see a person who came from abuse become the hero and not in an easy way, that she herself had to struggle with the power that she found,” Gimple said during the AMC Networks summit.

“And that is I think Carol’s great story is that she found that she was strong, she found she had this superpower, but then it wouldn’t be easy. It wasn’t happy ever after after that, that she had responsibility and there was a weight to that strength that she found.”

Gimple was serving as writer-producer on the series under then-showrunner Glen Mazzara, who once notified McBride Carol was to be killed off just episodes into the third season.

Those plans changed when it was decided T-Dog (IronE Singleton) would make a sacrifice play rescuing Carol in 304, “Killer Within,” perishing from a walker attack when the group’s prison base was infiltrated by the undead.

“Personally, it’s been so important to me to see her become strong. It’s really hard for me to talk about that aspect of her without getting just boiled up inside because I know people like her that didn’t make it,” added an emotional McBride, whose Carol evolved from battered housewife to bow-wielding queen.

“So that aspect has always been very important to me. But yes, empathy, you need more of that. I would love to see a day when this doesn’t happen. These, by the way, are good tears because it’s important and it was a good thing what’s happened to Carol.”

Carol has since suffered the loss of adopted son Henry (Matt Lintz), who was abducted and then decapitated by Whisperer leader Alpha (Samantha Morton). The death proved so devastating it caused Carol and husband Ezekiel (Khary Payton) to split, but the “Carzekiel” fairy tale romance could return in the future.

For now, playing Carol is “such a wonderful thing,” McBride added. “And there’s some great storytelling with this character, who has just brought herself up and risen to the occasion to do what she needs to do to survive and to help the people that she cares about also survive. So it’s been pretty amazing.”

McBride and Daryl Dixon star Norman Reedus are now the longest-running Walking Dead stars, both with the series since its third episode in Season One. In November, the stars renewed their contracts and inked massive three-year deals.

The Walking Dead Season Ten is due out this fall on AMC.

Norman Reedus Explains Daryl & Carol’s Special Relationship

November 24, 2018

There is no denying Carol and Daryl have had a special relationship throughout their time together on The Walking Dead, especially from Norman Reedus.

During an interview on AMC’s Talking Dead show, The Walking Dead’s Daryl Dixon actor Norman Reedus opened up about Daryl and Carol’s relationship which has remained platonic through all of its screen tie.

“There’s something about Carol and Daryl, like she knows him better than he knows himself,” Reedus said. “If somebody else were to tell him certain things, I don’t think he would hear them but, when she says stuff to him, he listens. To somebody else it might seem like he’s fine out there in the words but to her it’s like he’s lacking something and it’s become more of an emotional connection that he’s gotten rid of. Because of what happened, he’s chasing the moon. He’s never gonna catch it but he’s chasing the moon. So, she kind of takes him off guard.”

Check out the interview with Reedus as posted to Talking Dead‘s Twitter account below.

While Melissa McBride’s Carol has become romantic with King Ezekiel, many fans are still clamoring to see Carol and Daryl become more than friends. “His blessing did mean a lot to her,” McBride told ComicBook.com of Daryl’s sentiments of Carol and Ezekiel in the Season Nine premiere. “She wanted to know if he is still gonna be cool!”

As for Carol and Daryl’s future: “You never know, you know?” McBride told ET (via FanFest) ahead of Season Nine. “I love how they have each other’s back. I love their relationship. Whatever it is, I love their relationship. The fans can look forward to more Daryl and Carol scenes.”

Norman Reedus and Melissa McBride Ink New Deals

November 09, 2018

As AMC turns the page to the next chapter of The Walking Dead, which is surprisingly exciting as it heads towards a six-year time jump and a Rick Grimes movie trilogy starring Andrew Lincoln, it would appear that the network is laying the foundation for the future. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Norman Reedus and Melissa McBride are settling in as the series leads with new deals that last for the next three years of the franchise.

These new contracts are not only lucrative deals, but also are not limited to the television show alone, which suggests that Daryl and Carol might appear in other The Walking Dead properties, possibly even films, one-offs, or other specials. Regardless, this news firmly establishes these two stars as the key fixtures for the post-Rick era of the series. In addition, Danai Gurira is also in talks for a new deal that should keep Michonne in the fold in a similar way as well.

Reedus’ new deal is reportedly worth $350,000 per episode with additional guarantees and upfront payments. Advance money may end up in the range of $50 million to $90 million. On the other hand, McBride’s deal is said to be worth around $20 million over the course of the new contract. Gurira’s own deal might take some time to come together considering her breakout status from starring in Black Panther and other higher-profile projects.

Also reported by THR is that the most recent episode of The Walking Dead, the last for Andrew Lincoln, saw a slight ratings bump of a 2.1 rating in its key demographic, along with 5.41 million viewers, that may hint at more increases to come as news spreads of the upcoming films and new direction of the television series, which is jumping ahead another six years following Rick’s departure out of the main group.

Lauren Cohan’s possibly-temporary exit will certainly factor into the story as it picks back up years later, but overall happened a bit more quietly than Lincoln’s. Her character’s future is being left wide open and it sounds like the only real limitations for having her return to play Maggie is with respect to scheduling.

Showrunner Angela Kang and AMC programming president David Madden confirmed the news that the previous episode was the last time we will see Maggie this season and offered fans some hope that this won’t be Cohan’s last time appearing on the show. Kang commented that there are certainly more ideas left for the character’s journey and a mutual interest in telling those stories, which bodes well for fans who want to see more of the actress.

We’ve been talking to Lauren and hopefully we’ll get to tell more story for her. We definitely have some things up our sleeve that we’d love to do. A lot of that is just a scheduling conversation, so hopefully that will all work out, because I think mutually we would like to continue with Maggie’s story, for sure.

Considering all of the recent developments to come from this pivotal episode of The Walking Dead, the future is certainly looking bright for a franchise that was in desperate need of some fresh air. There were many ways to approach this moment but it feels like AMC might have chosen the right one. Rick Grimes lives on and the show is gearing up to feel fresher than ever.

The Walking Dead continues Sunday nights on AMC with three more episodes before its midseason hiatus. The next episode is shaping up to look much different than the same old show from the last nine years, give or take. Will you be tuning in?

Melissa on Carol and Daryl on ‘The Walking Dead’: “You Never Know”

October 20, 2018

Carol’s relationship with King Ezekiel is The Walking Dead‘s hottest new romance but one which depended on Daryl’s approval.

In the Season Nine premiere, King Ezekiel was seen proposing to his love Carol after an 18-month time jump allowed them to spend plenty of time together off-screen. Carol, at first, denied the proposal and insisted he put the ring away. However, after a late night conversation with her long time pal Daryl, she got the blessing a went ahead with the engagement in Episode 9×02.

“She’s not ready [in Episode 9×01],” McBride admitted to ComicBook.com. “For her to accept means a couple of things that she is totally committed to him. And what it meant before this ever happened is like, ‘Okay he’s king. Self-appointed king.’ What does that mean really? Well yeah, this self-appointed king that meant I had to do everything. So there’s still the residual feelings but then on the other hand she knows that they are completely different people. And for her I imagine it’s very difficult.” In fact, McBride’s Carol has not worn a ring since she shed the one her abusive husband put on her years ago prior to the apocalypse.

While making herself vulnerable was a brave choice in itself, it did not come without the Episode 9×01 conversation with Daryl. “His blessing did mean a lot to her,” McBride said. “She wanted to know if he is still gonna be cool!”

As for whether or not there is still hope for Carol and Daryl romantically, a storyline many fans have begged for since the early days of the AMC show, McBride can’t rule anything out officially. “You never know, you know?” McBride told ET (via FanFest). “I love how they have each other’s back. I love their relationship. Whatever it is, I love their relationship. The fans can look forward to more Daryl and Carol scenes.”

Carol and Daryl have a lot in common in terms of their experiences. More so than Carol and her King. “They’re very different,” McBride said. “They have the playing the roles in common, and those little survival tactics in common, but they’re very different. A nice yin-and-yang. I’m kind of excited to see her open herself up to maybe experience a little romance.”

Melissa on Carol’s New Love and Evolution

September 27, 2018

When Andrew Lincoln’s Rick Grimes leaves The Walking Dead in Season Nine, Melissa McBride’s Carol Peletier will become the longest running survivor still on the series. Through the upcoming episodes, though, the character will undergo some considerable changes as life in Alexandria settles down in its post-All Out War era.

While visiting the set of The Walking Dead’s upcoming season, ComicBook.com caught up with McBride to talk about how a time jump will have changed her character. Not only will she have opened the door to romance, having taking on a serious relationship with King Ezekiel, but she will also be more hardened and equipped with new weapons to take on whatever threats may be lurking.

“I think what we see of Carol is a whole new rebirth from the woman that she was when we met her, to the woman that she is now, and I don’t think there’s any going back,” McBride said. “Once you experience that voice for yourself, that way of life, it’s very difficult to just submit to whatever. I don’t see her doing that.”

In the zombie apocalypse, characters have had little success in the way of relationships. Rick lost his wife. Carol lost her first husband. Aaron lost his boyfriend. However, like Danai Gurira’s Michonne, Carol is embracing an attitude of living “in the moment.”

“I mean anything could happen at any moment, and also that’s her being in the moment, to allow a relationship to happen,” McBride said. “But then again, it’s like I can take it, but I can’t take the loss. I can be with you, but it’s going to be on my terms, and that’s important to her, and the King is very complicated.”

In fact, that complicated nature of King Ezekiel may be what attracted Carol to him. In a sequence from the Season Nine premiere episode, Carol discusses her romance with long time friend Daryl, and acknowledges he is quite “corny.” However, after so many years with an abusive husband and suffering such tragic losses through the post-apocalyptic years, “corny” might be what she needs.

“I think he just has the way about him, and he’s very different than anyone she’s ever encountered, that most people have encountered,” McBride said. “I think just some of the masks that they wear, they have that understanding, ‘I know where you’re coming from.'”

Relationships or not, the women of The Walking Dead are being credited by several cast members — especially Norman Reedus — as the main drivers of the upcoming season.

“I’ve seen a couple of [episodes], but that the women are being put into positions of leadership and making really, really hard choices, and not backing down, keeping their people safe and that’s exciting to play. I really like Angela [Kang]’s point of view. It’s fresh, and new, and different for a myriad of reasons. She herself is a really interesting person who has a very interesting world view, and I just think the time is now, it’s nice to know for sure.”

Fear the Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on AMC. The Walking Dead returns for its ninth season on Oct. 7, 2018.