The end of The Walking Dead is just the beginning. With the series finale of AMC’s flagship zombie drama set to drop sometime this fall, the TWD universe isn’t so much concluding as expanding further. From the ashes of this finale will rise at least three new spinoff series, joining original companion show Fear the Walking Dead, meaning AMC will soon have four Walking Dead series on TV for those fans who want zombies all year round.
One of those spinoffs would have seen Daryl and Carol going on a road trip to new, as of yet unexplored locations. Well, this show is still happening but now only Norman Reedus is going on the trip. AMC confirmed that Melissa McBride has exited the show due to logistical issues.
“Unfortunately, she is no longer able to participate in the previously announced spinoff focused on the Daryl Dixon and Carol Peletier characters, which will be set and filmed in Europe this summer and premiere next year,” AMC said in a statement to TV Line. “Relocating to Europe became logistically untenable for Melissa at this time. We know fans will be disappointed by this news, but The Walking Dead universe continues to grow and expand in interesting ways and we very much hope to see Carol again in the near future.”
Fans who thought they’d get to watch the further adventures of two of the most popular Walking Dead characters of all time will undoubtedly be disappointed by this news, but buried in AMC’s statement is another detail to get very excited about. This spinoff will apparently see Daryl exploring post-apocalyptic Europe and not just wandering around the same old North American wasteland this universe has thoroughly explored over the past decade and change.
The European setting could also offer some clues for what Daryl’s show will ultimately be about. For example, the finale of The Walking Dead: World Beyond teased that French scientists might be to blame for the start of the zombie apocalypse. Could Daryl be heading to France in search of the scientists who created the virus in the hope of finding a cure once and for all? It’d certainly be a fish out of water scenario for Daryl, a rough-around-the-edges good guy who usually prefers to solve problems with his crossbow and not science.
Of course it’s also possible that his mission to Europe has absolutely nothing to do with the zombie virus. Might he once again be searching for Rick Grimes? While Daryl currently thinks his brother in arms is dead on The Walking Dead season 11, what if in the finale he learns that isn’t the case, and that Rick is somewhere in Europe? (After all, we know the CRM, the faction that saved Rick in his final episode of TWD, has a network that goes beyond North America.) That would certainly be enough reason for Daryl to drop everything he’s doing and go on an intercontinental adventure. And as he searches for Rick, he could still end up at the lab where those scientists may have created the virus… Anyway, it’s fun to speculate.
In 2020, Reedus told Den of Geek that this spinoff would feature a “revolving group of people,” with Daryl and Carol “going to see who’s left in the world.”
“It’s an opportunity for us to get really good actors and really good writers who don’t have to sign a seven-year contract,” Reedus said at the time. “They come in for an episode or two. I think for a lot of actors, that’s an exciting possibility, exciting circumstance.”
That all sounds good, but it’s a shame Carol won’t be along for that journey.
This Walking Dead spinoff is slated to premiere sometime in 2023. Tales of the Walking Dead, a six-episode anthology series, is currently in production. A Maggie and Negan spinoff, Isle of the Dead, is also in the works, as is a Rick Grimes movie. The final eight episodes of The Walking Dead season 11 will air this fall.