First Fear the Walking Dead Season 5 Photos Reveal Dwight's Return

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And now, a moment of silence, if you will - and not just because when AMC's The Walking Dead returns Sunday for the back half of Season 9 (9/8c), Samantha Morton's Alpha and the Whisperers will be scaring us speechless on the regular.

The Walking Dead star Danai Gurira is leaving the show in season 10, according to reports.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Gurira has signed a deal to return as katana-wielding zombie apocalypse survivor Michonne for "a handful of episodes" in Season 10 before making a likely transition to the spin-off movies that will reunite her with former costar Andrew Lincoln.

In addition to starring in The Walking Dead, Danai Gurira is an accomplished playwright and social activist.

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Gurira joined AMC's horror drama in Season 3 and has become one of the show's breakout stars, rising to the second-billed spot behind Norman Reedus after Lincoln and Cohan left.

But following the departure of Andrew Lincoln, who played the lead character Rick Grimes from the show's beginning, fans must be starting to wonder where the neighbourhood is gone. Her loss will be a big blow to the show's creative plans. The announcement of her departure strikes another massive blow to the hit series after Andrew Lincoln left late a year ago. We love Danai; we love that character. "We really want her to stay". Obviously, the lesson of Andy is that the show can survive anybody's departure if need be but that's not our goal. She's also set to star in Godzilla vs Kong in 2020.

Before she was General Okoye, the leader Wankanda's badass all-woman Army in Black Panther, Danai Gurira was Michonne on the hit series The Walking Dead.