Danai Gurira has announced her departure from The Walking Dead.
The actress, who has portrayed the fan-favorite Michonne since the show's third season, said Season 10 will be her last. Gurira delivered the difficult news in an emotional speech at The Walking Dead's San Diego Comic-Con panel on Friday (July 19).
“I can confirm this is the last season I’ll be on this amazing TV show as Michonne,” said the 41-year-old on the panel. “I would just like to say this has been one of the purest joys in my life. I am very very thankful for the experience I’ve had in ways that I can't even express right now. My heart does not leave… it doesn’t ever end, the connection between us never ends."
"It was a very difficult decision. It was about my calling and other things I feel called to… as a creator of work. All I’m filled with is a lot of pain about leaving and a lot of gratitude and to all of you. I love you guys.TWD family is forever,” she concluded, before the Hall H audience burst with a standing ovation.
Anyone who has ever witnessed Gurira as the katana-wielding, zombie-slaying warrior on the show knows how much her loss will shake the realm of The Walking Dead and its followers.
Earlier inklings of the Black Panther star's exit from the show appeared back in February, when it was rumored Gurira would only appear in a handful of episodes in Season 10. Tasked with the "huge challenge" of Michonne's fate, showrunner Angela Kang told Entertainment Weekly "we want to do right by" Gurira's character with the proper send-off she deserves.
The Walking Dead Season 10 airs on AMC starting October 6.
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