Norman Reedus’ $20 Million Walking Dead Contract Isn’t A Done Deal Yet
This week brought with it some incredibly shocking news for The Walking Dead fans – longtime star Andrew Lincoln is set to leave the AMC zombie drama during the upcoming ninth season. In his wake, co-star Norman Reedus is reportedly being offered a substantial pay raise in order to convince him to stay on and take over as the show’s new lead.
If you’ve been keeping up, you’ll know that Lincoln’s exit follows hot on the heels of the announcement that Lauren Cohan will also be departing TWD in season 9. What’s more, producers plan to write both Rick Grimes and Maggie Rhee out in the same way: they’ll be gradually phased out of the series. This is partially down to the actors only being available for limited filming time, but it should also be a good way for the audience to prepare themselves for the characters exiting the show for good.
As we mentioned above, Norman Reedus’ Daryl Dixon is now expected to become the new leading man beyond 2019. The actor, who’s been involved in the AMC zombie drama from day one, is said to be negotiating a plum new deal worth more than $20 million – a deal good enough to make him one of TV’s highest-paid stars.
Should the stars align, Reedus’ salary will surpass those earned by Game of Thrones duo Emilia Clarke and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, but from what we understand, this isn’t set in stone just yet. THR notes that while the actor’s already begun work on season 9 and is now in Atlanta shooting, negotiations are still underway, with Reedus looking “to cash in given” Lincoln’s pending departure. Whether he’ll get that $20 million plus payday he’s seeking remains to be seen, but AMC’s certainly going to have to cough up some cash to keep him around.
While we wait to learn more on this intriguing situation surrounding the beloved show, one thing we can tell you with absolute certainty is that Andrew Lincoln’s time at the forefront of The Walking Dead is coming to an end, what with only six episodes of Rick Grimes (and Maggie Rhee!) remaining. They’ll be missed, of course, though we’ll have to wait until the show returns this October before we have a better idea of how AMC plans to end what has been a pretty incredible era.