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Press: How ‘Walking Dead’ Just Set the Stage for Lauren Cohan’s Exit

Showrunner Angela Kang weighs in on a big clue about Maggie’s upcoming departure.

 

 

[This story contains spoilers for season nine, episode two of AMC’s The Walking Dead, “The Bridge.”]

EW -As Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his companions work to build a bridge between communities, AMC’s The Walking Dead itself is busy with some bridge-building of its own: the bridge toward Lauren Cohan’s exit from the series.

Cohan, who has played Maggie Greene Rhee since season two, is poised to walk away from The Walking Dead, at least temporarily, later this season due to her series regular role on ABC’s Whiskey Cavalier. (The ABC role followed what sources say was a salary standoff with AMC gone sour.) Unlike the talk surrounding Andrew Lincoln’s looming exit as Rick, Cohan’s coming departure has been discussed as more open-ended in nature, with hopes for her eventual return.

How will Cohan as Maggie leave The Walking Dead, a world in which there’s rarely a way out beyond death? The second episode of season nine, “The Bridge,” provided the first major clue to that answer.

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Press/Gallery: Lauren Cohan On Life After Zombies — And Why We May Still See Maggie Again


 

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BUSTLE – As Maggie on The Walking Dead, Lauren Cohan kicks some serious butt. And just like her character, Cohan has come a long way since those days on the Greene family farm. She currently stars opposite Mark Wahlberg in the action-packed film Mile 22 as the fearless CIA operative Alice, and is also set to play a CIA agent in the spy dramedy Whiskey Cavalier when it comes to ABC in 2019. But despite the fact that her time on The Walking Dead is soon coming to an end (she’ll appear only in the first half of Season 9), Cohan isn’t concerned about what she’ll be doing when she’s no longer killing zombies on AMC. As she explains to Bustle, she’s always been pragmatic when it comes to her career, and she’s excited for what’s ahead.

When the British-American Cohan walks into the Bustle offices on a muggy New York City summer day, she exudes the sincere approachability that charmed Glenn Rhee and audiences alike back in Season 2 of The Walking Dead. She is far removed from the worlds of the zombie apocalypse and black ops missions here, but it’s easy to see why she often plays leaders worthy of following. And her portrayals of female leadership seem particularly significant in the current social climate.

Starting all the way back when she played con artist Bela in Supernatural, Cohan says she has never been limited by expectations people may have about female characters. “I can’t help but not be constricted by the stereotypes,” she says. However, she’s guarded when it comes to speaking on behalf of all women in the entertainment industry, preferring instead to focus on her own experiences. While she notes that she’s “glad that we’re in a time where light is being shown” on gender inequality, she’s personally drawn to roles that she feels accurately portray the human condition in general.

“Take Maggie in The Walking Dead, as well as [Alice] in Mile 22,” Cohan says. “Alice is at the top of her class. She’s able to be in a situation, assess what needs to be done, and either know already or learn how to navigate very, very complex and life-threatening situations. That doesn’t sound like a gender-specific thing to me. That sounds like something a human being has the impetus or desire to do.”

Cohan notes that she’s prone to being “completely over-analytical,” which could explain her cautiousness when it comes to speaking in generalities. This leads her to be extremely thoughtful and measured when it comes to seeing the whole picture. It’s also helped her navigate the waters of being known for a particular character for the last eight seasons while trying to plan for her post-Walking Dead future.

Though Cohan has been giving most of her time and attention to her role as Maggie, she has appeared in other projects during her Walking Dead tenure. She starred in the 2016 horror film The Boy, played Bruce Wayne’s mom in Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice, and portrayed Tupac Shakur’s mentor in the biopic All Eyez On Me alongside fellow Walking Dead star Danai Gurira.

Mile 22 is Cohan’s first major film role since The Boy, and her character Alice may remind Walking Dead fans of Maggie: She’s a competent leader who is struggling to balance the responsibilities of being a mother with what Cohan calls “a potential world crisis of atom-bomb proportions.” And Cohan doesn’t hesitate to draw parallels between her characters.

“The physical pressures of these environments in Walking Dead and in Mile 22 help become a pressure cooker for the emotion of said character. So with Alice in Mile 22, she is at this juncture of maybe wanting to be done with this life because it’s compromising having a normal life and having a relationship with her daughter,” Cohan says. “So she has a great responsibility to that and there’s [an] immense push and pull of career and motherhood. It’s almost impossible for her to leave, to choose one over the other, and it brings people — as I would imagine — to a great breaking point.”
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Press: ‘Walking Dead’ Kicks Off “Decade” Of Expansion Plans

DEADLINE – Looking to go for many more years, The Walking Dead premieres its upcoming ninth season next week in Los Angeles with a full-on Hollywood screening at the Directors Guild of America. However, with a plethora of photographs of the new season dropped today also (see below), it is the Big Apple that the AMC blockbuster intends to take a bite of more immediately.

With the departure of lead Andrew Lincoln and changes behind the camera in the form of new showrunner Angela Kang, TWD will hold panels at both PaleyFest New York and New York Comic Con in early October just before the Season 9 debut. Just like at San Diego Comic-Con, those shindigs will be packed to fire marshal capacity. Even with ratings declines the past couple of years, TWD has still been the top drama on all of TV in the key 18-49 demo for the past six seasons.

As notions of potential spinoffs, more crossovers and other platforms of the show have been long teased by former showrunner and now-Chief Content Officer Scott M. Gimple, AMC CEO Josh Sapan made TWD‘s future slightly more concrete when he told a recent investors’ gathering that the idea is to go for another decade in some form or another. As AMC’s SVP and Co-Head of Corporate Communications noted:

All of which adds to the drama as TWD is aiming for a reset of sorts with its ninth season.

Leading into that and coming just 24 hours before the Season 9 opener on October 7 on AMC, the 8 PM ET NYCC gathering will feature Lincoln plus castmates Norman Reedus, Danai Gurira, Melissa McBride and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who plays now seemingly conquered villain Negan on the show based on Robert Kirkman’s comics.

Also in attendance at the Theater at Madison Square Garden, as in past years at the confab, will be EPs Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, Dave Alpert, and Greg Nicotero, who directed the season opener. EP and COO Gimple will also be onstage at MSG, along moderator Chris Hardwick and new showrunner Kang, who penned the first episode of Season 9.

As always at both NYCC and SDCC, expect a sneak peek or two at the new season.

However, if you are going to be at PaleyFest on October 6, you’ll get much more than a peek. The 3 PM ET TWD panel at 25 West 52nd Street with most if not all of the same participants will serve as the East Coast premiere of the full first episode of Season 9.

As original cast member Lincoln exits, first reported by Deadline back in May and confirmed by the Love Actually actor at SDCC, the post-apocalypse world of TWD is very different at the beginning of Season 9, which picks up a year and bit after the big showdown between Lincoln’s Survivors and allies and Negan’s gang. Along with Lauren Cohan scaling back her participation because of her new ABC series Whiskey Cavalier, the series offered another glimpse into the new reality of things with a series of photographs unveiled today of both of the new episodes and BTS.

 

 

 

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Press: ‘Walking Dead’ Star Lauren Cohan Breaks Down AMC Contract Dispute

 

VARIETY – “Walking Dead” star Lauren Cohan delved into her contract dispute with AMC on SiriuXM’s “Andy Cohen Live” on Wednesday

 

Cohan said her request for a pay increase was a standard business practice which came while she was negotiating a new contract with the show.

 

“It wasn’t actually that I was asking for it, it was that my contract had finished,” Cohan said. “So that’s pretty standard renegotiation.” Cohan went on to say that she is hoping to explore “comedy and happier fare,” like her upcoming ABC spy dramedy “Whiskey Cavalier.”

 

The actress also reassured fans the salary dispute doesn’t mean the end for her “Walking Dead” character, Maggie, and she is still focused on working on the show.

 

“My ‘Walking Dead’ story is open, it’s not finished,” Cohan said. “You don’t break up with someone and forget about them and delete them from your life, no, things transition into different places.

 

Cohan is reportedly only going to appear in handful of episodes in “The Walking Dead’s” upcoming ninth season. This comes as series star Andrew Lincoln formally announced that Season 9 will be his last with the show.

 

“This has been the most extraordinary, amazing, and beautiful experience of my career,” Lincoln said at the show’s San Diego Comic-Con panel last week. He also said that he would be taking a break from acting to spend more time with his family back in England

Press: San Diego Comic Con 2018 – Lauren Cohan and Danai Gurira deliver pizza to a Walking Dead fan

EW – From post-apocalyptic survivors to Postmates?

 

The Walking Dead stars Lauren Cohan and Danai Gurira took a break from battling zombies (and promoting their hit AMC series) to hand-deliver some pizzas to one lucky fan during San Diego Comic-Con this weekend. And lucky for us, they got the whole thing on tape.

 

In a video posted to Cohan’s Instagram account Saturday, the two actresses — who portray Hilltop leader Maggie and katana-wielding badass Michonne — stroll casually down a Hard Rock Hotel hallway carrying two pies for an unsuspecting TWD enthusiast.

 

“Hey, pizza delivery!” Gurira says as they approach the delivery destination.

 

“They were really short-staffed downstairs, and we were like, ‘All right!’” Cohan tells the bewildered fan, Angie. The video cuts off with the promise of a group photo — all in a day’s work.

 

Postmates

A post shared by Lauren Cohan (@laurencohan) on

Press: San Diego Comic Con 2018 – Don’t Expect Maggie and Rick to Fight to the Death

TV GUIDE – When The Walking Dead concluded Season 8, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) made the controversial decision to let Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) live instead of killing him for all the pain and suffering and death he bestowed on Rick’s group. (To be fair, Rick slit Negan’s throat, but Negan survived.)

 

Many fans weren’t happy about the decision, and they shared the feeling of Maggie (Lauren Cohan), who wanted Negan to pay for turning her husband Glenn’s (Steven Yeun) head into brain spaghetti with a baseball bat. In the final moments of the Season 8 finale, Maggie, Jesus (Tom Payne) and Daryl (Norman Reedus) gathered at the Hilltop to seemingly conspire against Rick for keeping Negan alive.

 

It set up a possible civil war inside the group with Rick leading one faction and Maggie leading the other, and had us all theorizing that the divide might have something to do with Lincoln and Cohan leaving the show next season. They totally kill each other, right? Wrong.

 

At The Walking Dead press conference held in San Diego Comic-Con after the fan panel, Season 8 showrunner Scott Gimple addressed the situation and essentially defused things a little bit.

 

“We’ve got to remember where we left Maggie in the last season,” Gimple said. “They made a deal in the finale that Negan was done. They were going to kill him. So when Rick spared his life and Maggie broke down, she broke down because of all the sheer emotion of everything that he had done to Glen and everybody around them. All the pain that he had inflicted on everyone. So Maggie felt betrayed.”

 

It appears that Gimple tried to explain that Maggie was angry in the moment, but she wasn’t going to immediately act with some sort of coup. Danai Gurira, who plays Michonne, expanded on the idea and essentially shut out the idea of a possible war between the two, but didn’t rule out lots of complications.

 

“There’s so much tension as a result of that,” Gurira said. “It’s not all-out grown men fighting each other in a pit with two sticks or whatever, it’s more fraught because it’s people who love each other and it’s people who want to be on the same page, but really, really aren’t. It’s family. It’s a family feud, which is actually much in some ways scarier, and it feels much more volatile.”

 

So for all of you out there getting your #TeamRick and #TeamMaggie shirts ready, better put a pin in it for a bit.

 

The Walking Dead returns for Season 9 Sunday, Oct. 7 on AMC.

Press/Video: ‘Walking Dead’ Unveils Season 9 Trailer, Premiere Date at Comic-Con

 

VARIETY – The long-running AMC zombie series showed off the first official trailer for its upcoming ninth season on Friday.

 

The trailer debuted at “The Walking Dead’s” Comic-Con panel following the “Fear the Walking Dead” presentation, which featured its own trailer for the upcoming season. AMC also announced the new season’s premiere date: Oct. 7 at 9 p.m.

 

Season 9 picks up after the conclusion of the all-out war the survivors waged against Negan and his Saviors, focusing on Andrew Lincoln’s character, Rick Grimes, picking up the pieces and putting together the utopian society for a post-apocalyptic world. The footage featured Grimes and the rest of the survivors assembling infrastructure in their new society, as well as conversations with an imprisoned Negan. The trailer also showed tensions running high as supposedly reformed saviors clash with other survivors in disputes about how their new civilization should function and treat one another.

 

The walkers still remain an ever-present threat, as the trailer also contained cuts of Grimes and company fighting off the undead onslaught.

 

Lincoln also confirmed at the panel that he will leave the show this next season after leading it since its start in 2010.

 

The series also stars Norman Reedus, Lauren Cohan, Chandler Riggs, Danai Gurira, Melissa McBride, Lennie James, Alanna Masterson, Josh McDermitt, Christian Serratos, Seth Gilliam, Ross Marquand, Austin Amelio, Tom Payne, Xander Berkeley, Khary Payton, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan.

 

 

Press: ‘The Walking Dead’: Lauren Cohan Only Returning For Half of Season 9

COMICBOOK.COM – The Walking Dead’s Maggie actress Lauren Cohan is only booked to return for less than half of the show’s first season.

 

Cohan joined the AMC show in its second season and is one of very few stars of The Walking Dead to have endured such a long tenure heading into Season Nine and still be an active part of the series. However, Deadline is reporting that Cohan’s new contract for Season Nine only brings her back for six episodes, meaning she will likely pack her bags and head out of production by the Mid-Season Nine finale at the latest.

 

Cohan recently signed on for the new ABC series Whiskey Cavalier which has been picked up for a series. She recently opened up about returning to the series, at least in short, ahead of the six-episode contract being revealed.

 

“I’m going back,” Cohan told EW. “There’s a lot more Maggie story to tell.” As for whether or not Maggie will indeed be pitted against Rick and Michonne as was teased in the Season Eight finale only weeks ago, Cohan can’t comment. In fact, she can’t such much else other than she will be there.

 

“You know we’re not allowed to tell you anything, but it’s good,” she said.

 

During The Walking Dead’s production off-season, Cohan shot Mile 22 with co-stars Mark Wahlberg and Ronda Rousey. Shortly after word of the actress’ contract with AMC having expired after the show’s eighth season, she signed on for a new ABC pilot by the name of Whiskey Cavalier. The status of Whiskey Cavalier is unknown at this point.

 

Should the AMC show choose to pit Maggie against her longtime ally Rick Grimes, Andrew Lincoln is prepared for a dramatic season.

 

“She’s terrifying. When she comes full-Cohan, that emotional force is like a freakin’ hurricane,” Lincoln told ComicBook.com. “It’s crazy. That’s a big turn. It makes for a very interesting set up for this year, certainly. I’m excited. She’s a wonderful actress, LC. She’s so true. When she hits it, there’s nobody like her. I think it’s wonderful that she’s got this power as a performer and also the stage that Maggie now has in the show and in the community, what she represents, I think it makes for a formidable force.”

 

The Walking Dead will return for its ninth season in the fall.

 

 

Press: Lauren Cohan Fielding Slew Of Pilot Offers – Is She Done With ‘The Walking Dead’?

 

DEADLINE – The first batches of offers for the 2018 broadcast pilots are out, and one surprising name has stood out, The Walking Dead star Lauren Cohan. The actress, who plays Maggie on the hit AMC zombie drama, has been very sought after with close to half-dozen offers so far.

 

The development may come as a shock to TWD fans because her character is alive and well on the show where death lurks around every corner. A fan favorite, Cohan has been on the series since the beginning of Season 2, which she joined as a recurring, becoming a series regular in Season 3. Cohan’s contract is up at the end of TWD‘s current eighth season, making her available for new series.

 

There had been rumblings that Cohan had sought parity with her male co-stars Andrew Lincoln and Norman Reedus, who are paid significantly more than all of their female colleagues. I hear that was brought up early on but was not made a make-or-break requirement for Cohan to come back as she had joined the show later than Lincoln and Reedus who, on average, appear in more scenes than just about anyone else on the series. I hear AMC offered Cohan a modest salary increase in exchange for a long-term contract, which was rejected, a standard practice in talent re-negotiations.

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Press: The Walking Dead – Lauren Cohan ‘devastated’ by Carl’s death

 

EW – Fans of The Walking Dead were stunned when it was revealed at the end of the Dec. 10 midseason finale that Carl (Chandler Riggs) had been bitten by a zombie, signaling that both the character and the actor’s days were numbered on the show. And fans weren’t the only ones surprised.

 

Cast members were also thrown for a loop by the news, including Lauren Cohan, who plays Maggie. “I didn’t really believe it,” says Cohan about when she was first informed. “I was definitely in shock. I’m still in shock about it.”

 

She is far from alone. Andrew Lincoln told EW that, “I never saw it coming. I always thought that the kid would be the future, and that was the whole point of this — that I was going to hand over the revolver and let him walk off into the distance.” And Norman Reedus, who admitted to being “desperately unhappy” about the move, told us, “I always thought Chandler would be the last man standing, to be honest.”

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