Lauren Cohan Is Returning To 'Walking Dead' For Season 9 & Fans Just Let Out A Major Sigh Of Relief
After months of uncertainty, a real-life cliffhanger has been resolved: actor Lauren Cohan will be back for The Walking Dead Season 9, according to Vanity Fair. Cohan, who plays Maggie Rhee on the AMC horror-drama, confirmed the news on Tuesday night at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, where she was promoting her upcoming film, Mile 22, which also stars Mark Wahlberg.
"I’m going back,” she told Entertainment Weekly. “There’s a lot more Maggie story to tell.” Cohan's co-stars, Andrew Lincoln and Norman Reedus, who play Rick Grimes and Daryl Dixon respectively, had already inked deals, but Cohan opted to renegotiate her contract, raising questions about her future on the show. According to the The Hollywood Reporter in February, while Cohan was not seeking equal pay to Lincoln and Reedus, she was unhappy with the offers she had received (AMC did not respond to Bustle's request for comment at the time that news broke in February.) One of her co-stars, Khary Payton, took to social media to speak out on her behalf. She posted a photo of Cohan on Instagram with the caption, "Pay the woman."
Cohan also signed on as the lead in a new ABC pilot, Whiskey Cavalier, which brought on further speculation that Maggie's days as leader of the Hilltop colony might be numbered. In the new series, Cohan will play Francesca “Frankie” Trowbridge, CIA operative who works alongside FBI agent, Will Chase, whose codename is "Whiskey Cavalier," played by Scott Foley. However, the show has not officially been picked up by ABC for a full season.
As soon as Cohan announced her plans to return to the show, The Walking Dead fans took to Twitter to voice their excitement.
One fan wrote, "So glad @LaurenCohan is staying on The Walking Dead .. she’s a great actress and Maggie Rhee is essential to the story. I feel like Season 9 will be her season." Another said, "
#WarriorWednesday also belongs to the other fabulous women of #TWD ... I am so happy Lauren will be back for sure. We need Maggie!"
The news also means fans will get answers to their questions about what's next for Maggie after she vowed to show Rick and Michonne — played by Danai Gurira — that they had made a mistake by letting Jeffrey Dean Morgan's character Negan live on the Season 8 finale.
Negan killed Maggie's husband, Glenn, and she has made plans to retaliate against Rick and Michonne, who were once her allies, for letting him live.
This change of heart came as a surprise to fans, as Maggie had initially been hesitant to shoot walkers, leaving some theorizing about what her next steps could be.
Some people online thought Maggie, Daryl, and Jesus, played by Tom Payne, might become the villains next season. "No one can tell me otherwise," one fan wrote, speculating about that particular trio.
Others think Maggie might die, and one user thought Rick could be the culprit, writing:
"Conspiracy theory time: Maggie starts a civil war, jesus tells rick, Maggie gets killed by rick, daryl joins the saviors and becomes the new leader, 1st half season 9, this civil war bleeds over into the herd we saw in the finale, we get the whisperer arc."
This is all guesswork though, and on Tuesday night, Cohan refused to give any specific clues as to where Maggie's story might be headed. "You know, we're not allowed to tell you anything," she told EW. "But it's good."
While an official date has yet to be announced, Season 9 of The Walking Dead will premiere later this year.