In a move that will be great news to The Walking Dead fans — but maybe not such great news for Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Michonne (Danai Gurira) — Maggie (Lauren Cohan) will be continuing her run as leader of the Hilltop for the AMC drama's ninth season. Cohan revealed the news to Entertainment Weekly at CinemaCon in Las Vegas on Tuesday night, promoting her upcoming movie Mile 22 with Mark Wahlberg.
When asked about the status of season 9, Cohan confirmed her return: "I'm going back. There's a lot more Maggie story to tell." Asked what fans can expect moving into the new season, the actress teased, "You know we're not allowed to tell you anything, but it's good." Filming on The Walking Dead's ninth season is set to begin next week.
Lincoln and Norman Reedus (Daryl Dixon) had previously signed on for the ninth season, while Cohan took additional time to negotiate for a better deal. Adding fuel to the rumor fires was news that Cohan had landed the lead role in the ABC dramedy pilot Whiskey Cavalier, which called further into question her future with Robert Kirkman created series. Whether it receives a series order from the network is still unclear; but with The Walking Dead filming next week, Cohan would have at least two months open before work on Whiskey Cavalier would begin — possibly longer if the pilot is picked up for a mid-season order. And then there's the option that AMC probably (secretly) prefers: that the pilot doesn't get a greenlight, freeing up Cohan to film the entire season.
While many fans of The Walking Dead were at least a little guilty of assuming the absolute worst when it came to Cohan's negotiations, there was a cautious sigh of relief in the form of the show's eighth season finale and the dramatic weight they placed upon Maggie as the series moves forward. Denied her "right" to Negan's (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) head on a platter by Rick's commitment to "finding a better way," Maggie now sees Rick — and Michonne — as the enemy. And as you can see from the following clip from the episode, she's not alone: