Reedus still believes Daryl and Carol will meet up again somewhere down the line, even after McBride bowed out of the planned Walking Dead spin-off.

Norman Reedus, in conversation with Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show, opened up about Melissa McBride's exit from The Walking Dead Carol-Daryl spin-off series. In his eyes, if anyone deserves a break after filming 11 seasons of the long-running AMC drama show over the course of 12 years, it's McBride.

"Twelve years is a grueling schedule," Reedus told Fallon. "She wanted to take some time off and she's doing that. She deserves it."

The network had announced in 2020 a Reedus- and McBride-centric spin-off would succeed the main Walking Dead show after concluding its run with an expanded 11th season. But last week AMC announced that McBride would no longer be a part of the show as relocating to Europe, where the spin-off is set to film this summer, "became logistically untenable."

Still, Reedus believes this isn't the end of the Daryl-Carol story. "I imagine those characters are going to meet back up at some point, and they might even meet up with some other characters down the road," he said.

"In the meantime," he added, "they were like, 'Hey, you wanna go on a mission?' And I'm like, 'Yeah, let's go on a mission.'"

Not all Walking Dead fans were as understanding of McBride's decision. Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who stars in The Walking Dead franchise as Negan, had noted in a tweet that some "had gone WAY too far" in their responses to the news. There were those, it seems, blaming Reedus for the decision to send production to Europe to be close with his family. (Reedus is married to German actress Diane Kruger.)

"Attacking norm for crap he has NOTHING to do with? Melissa made a call that was hers alone. She wants/needs a break. Respect that," Morgan tweeted. "Factors involved that are nobody's business. Norm, who's given more than anyone to you all. Just SHITTY."

The Walking Dead
Norman Reedus and Melissa McBride ride onto 'The Walking Dead' as Daryl and Carol
| Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC

He emphasized that Reedus "had nothing to do with picking location."

"That decision is all about story, ideas… MONEY. That's studio/network. Not actors," he wrote. "We can say yes and do, or no, and not do… MAYBE. SOMETIMES. If we're lucky and don't have contract yet. Rarely does actor have that power."

The now Daryl-centric spin-off series is being planned for a premiere in 2023.

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The Walking Dead

AMC's zombie thriller, based on the classic comic book serial created by Robert Kirkman.

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