The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus teases Carol return after ‘time off’

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Melissa McBride stunned fans of The Walking Dead by confirming she was no longer taking part in the planned spin-off featuring her character Carol Peletier and Daryl Dixon (played by Norman Reedus). Norman will now be going solo when the series starts shooting this summer for AMC, but hinted Daryl and Carol could eventually meet up again in his recent TV appearance.

Norman has confirmed Melissa is currently taking a break from her The Walking Dead duties, but the door is still open for her return.

A spin-off featuring Daryl and Carol was confirmed to be in the works back in September 2020.

Just a few months before The Walking Dead offshoot was planning to shoot, a spokesperson for AMC shocked fans by confirming Melissa’s departure.

Now, Norman has stepped in to clear up some of the rumours surrounding her decision while offering an exciting update on the future of the successful zombie franchise.

“I know it’s going to be much different than the show,” he teased about the new spin-off.

“It was originally supposed to be Carol and I, Melissa McBride and I. And she’s taken time off.”

Speculation has been rife amongst The Walking Dead fans about the reasoning behind Melissa’s surprise decision.

Negan star Jeffrey Dean Morgan even had to step in to hit back at viewers who claimed Norman had something to do with her departure.

However, Norman clarified there was nothing sinister behind the change of plans, suggesting the actress is still open to playing Carol again after her hiatus from the show.

“12 years is a gruelling schedule,” he explained in his interview with Jimmy Fallon.

“And she wanted to take some time off so she’s doing that. And she deserves it.”

In addition to Daryl’s spin-off, AMC is also developing a follow-up centred on Negan and his enemy-turned-ally Maggie Rhee (Lauren Cohan).

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Plus, Tales of the Walking Dead will offer a completely different take on the story, while there’s still a chance Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) will be showing up in his own film trilogy.

With endless opportunities for new and old characters to cross paths, Norman assured fans season 11 of the flagship series probably won’t be the last time they see Daryl and Carol together on screen.

“I imagine those characters are going to meet back up at some point,” he teased.

“And I might even meet up with some other characters down the road.”

On the current plans for the series, Norman added: “[Melissa]’s taken time off, and, in the meantime, they were like ‘You wanna go on a mission?’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah!’”

He also opened up about the emotional experience of bringing the mainline The Walking Dead series to a close this year.

Norman recalled: “There was a lot of drinking, there were confetti cannons. It sort of felt surreal.

“This last season was a full year, which was exhausting. You’re in the woods and you’re crying and screaming and fighting.”

Although the actor did put his hat in the ring for an appearance in HBO’s luxurious drama Succession, it looks like Norman will be fighting for survival in a zombie-infested wasteland for a little while longer.

The Walking Dead seasons 1-11 are available to watch on AMC in the USA and Disney+ in the UK.

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