Star Andrew Lincoln is not the only series regular to be leaving The Walking Dead in its upcoming ninth season but, unlike Lincoln, Lauren Cohan's Maggie Rhee's departure isn't planned to be a permanent one.
Cohan, who will be phased out over the first half of Season 9, had mentioned last month that the possibility remains for her to return to reprise her fan-favorite character. These plans were confirmed by new showrunner Angela Kang with Cohan's return potentially as early as Season 10.
"We've still planned some more story with Maggie, Lauren wants to, it will be a little subject to her schedule, but hopefully we have her back next season," revealed Kang in an interview with ComicBook.com. "We have always planned to have this great story with Maggie this season and I think we promised something. We wanted to pay off that promise. We definitely have a very strong Maggie arc."
News broke in May that Cohan had signed on to star in the upcoming ABC series Whiskey Cavalier, signaling an end to her eight-year tenure on the popular AMC series for now.
"Lauren has always been such a great actress for us, has done some spectacular work this season," continued Kang. "It's just something we wanted to do right by that character, but again it also opens up some interesting opportunities for other characters when that character is gone for reasons that will be explained in the story. That's part of the story going forward, is what's happening at Hilltop? How do people with Maggie not being there?"
The Walking Dead stars Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Lauren Cohan, Danai Gurira, Melissa McBride, Lennie James, Alanna Masterson, Josh McDermitt, Christian Serratos, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. The series returns on October 9 for its ninth season on AMC at 9 pm ET/PT.