Daryl is defending his BFF!
Last month, Walking Dead fans got some upsetting news: that Melissa McBride was exiting the planned Walking Dead spin-off series—which was set to focus on Carol and Daryl—due to "logistical issues." And now, Daryl himself, co-star Norman Reedus, is speaking up to defend her decision and argue that after 11 seasons of the post-apocalyptic horror, Melissa deserves a break.
"Twelve years is a grueling schedule," Reedus said on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. "She wanted to take some time off and she's doing that. She deserves it."
The new series will be set and filmed in Europe this summer and premiere next year. It will now only focus on Daryl, rather than the on-screen BFFs, who are the last two remaining original cast members.
Though fans may be disappointed, Norman doesn't think it's the end of Carol and Daryl's story. "I imagine those characters are going to meet back up at some point," he continued, "and they might even meet up with some other characters down the road."
After news broke that Melissa would not be partaking in the series, rumors began circulating that Norman himself had something to do with her exit. But fellow Walking Dead star Jeffrey Dean Morgan took to Twitter to set the record straight.
"Some of you have gone WAY too far. TOXIC. Attacking norm for crap he has NOTHING to do with? Melissa made a call that was hers alone," Jeffrey wrote on Twitter. "She wants/needs a break. Respect that. Factors involved that are nobody's business. Norm, who's given more than anyone to you all. Just S--TTY."
So what can we expect when the show premieres?
Norman teased that the spin-off will "be much different than the show."
"They were like, 'Hey, you wanna go on a mission?'" he told Jimmy Fallon. "And I'm like, 'Yeah, let's go on a mission.'"
The Walking Dead is currently in its 11th and final season. The series finale is set to air in late 2022 on AMC.
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