The Walking Dead star Norman Reedus teases possible cameos by other TWD characters on his upcoming Daryl spinoff. Back in 2020 it was announced that the Walking Dead universe would get another expansion with a spinoff show focused on Reedus’ Daryl Dixon and Melissa McBride’s Carol Peletier. But a major shakeup came when, just recently, it was revealed that McBride had pulled out of the planned series.
McBride’s Carol of course holds a special place in Walking Dead fans’ hearts, as she along with Daryl is the only remaining original character still on the AMC zombie drama. It was perhaps no surprise then when some fans became irate over news of McBride leaving the spinoff. The puzzling thing though was that some of this fan anger was actually directed at Reedus, as if he were somehow responsible for McBride’s exit. Things became so heated in fact that Reedus’ Walking Dead co-star Jeffrey Dean Morgan felt the need to step in and defend his friend, calling fan behavior “toxic.”
By now Reedus himself has also addressed the controversy over McBride’s departure from the spinoff, saying he understands that the actress simply needed a break after 12 years on the flagship show. At the same time he went to bat for his co-star, the Daryl actor also went out of his way to assuage fans’ concerns that after the main show leaves the air, they’ll never see their favorite TWD BBFs together on-screen again. While promoting his new novel on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Reedus was asked about the spinoff controversy and made a remark that seems to open the door on a future McBride appearance on what is now a Daryl solo spinoff, while also teasing other possible character appearances:
“I imagine those characters are going to meet back up at some point. And I might even meet back up with some other characters down the road.”
Of course it makes sense that Reedus would try to tamp down the fire over McBride’s departure by hinting that Carol could still show up for at least a token appearance on the now-Daryl-centered spinoff show. But despite his efforts, there is still an overall sense that things are somewhat shaky in The Walking Dead universe, after Angela Kang herself exited the spinoff as showrunner to be replaced by David Zabel. The spin has been that it was McBride’s decision to leave the show due to her need for a vacation, but the showrunner situation only adds fuel to speculation that McBride was in fact dumped from spinoff plans in favor of a more Daryl-focused show.
Of course the other big takeaway from Reedus’ new remarks is that there may be plans for multiple Walking Dead character appearances on the Daryl spinoff. Obviously the reunion fans truly want is one between Daryl and Andrew Lincoln’s Rick Grimes. However, it’s widely assumed that Rick is in the hands of the CRM, and Daryl’s spinoff would seem to steer him away from joining that long-suspended storyline as the show is sending him on a mission to Europe. Of course it’s always possible that Rick has somehow ended up in Europe as well, as no one knows where he landed after being taken away by helicopter in TWD season 9 (those promised Rick Grimes movies presumably would clear up all this Rick mystery, but no one knows where they are either). Ultimately, The Walking Dead loves nothing more than a stirring reunion, so it would be no shock at all to see Daryl have some surprise encounters with unexpected characters even as he leaves the North American continent behind.