The Walking Dead has infamously lost many of its once key stars over the last few years, but it sounds like AMC’s willing to do anything they can to keep the ones they still have on board. In the wake of exits for Andrew Lincoln and Lauren Cohan, Norman Reedus is now arguably the series’ lead, and that’s reflected in the humongous new deal he’s reportedly signed with the network.
In a piece about TWD‘s renewal for season 10, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that their sources say that Reedus – who’s played Daryl Dixon, an original character for TV, on the series since season 1 – could make anywhere between $50-$90 million over the next three years. This amount comes from the $350,000 he’s due every episode plus “additional guarantees and advances” which really bump up his earnings.
Meanwhile, Melissa McBride – Carol Peletier, another regular since season 1 – is also said to be snagging a sizeable increase as she’s going to earn an estimated $20 million over the same period. Danai Gurira, meanwhile, has yet to finalize a new contract, which somewhat leaves Michonne’s future on the show in doubt. It’s said that her status as a bonafide movie star – having featured in both Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War – is complicating negotiations, but the network’s hopeful things will work out.
The most interesting thing for fans, though, about these agreements is that Reedus and McBride’s new contracts are described as “groundbreaking” because they “stretch beyond traditional series/overall deals” and will allow the two stars to roam freely around the expanded Walking Dead universe. So, it’s not out of the question for them to turn up in Andrew Lincoln’s upcoming movie trilogy, for instance.
Whatever happens, Reedus and McBride have definitely stepped up from the early days of the show, when they earned $8,500 per episode. And you can expect them to continue to be the faces of the franchise as the remainder of season 9 unfolds when The Walking Dead returns to AMC this Sunday.