Another season of The Walking Dead has come to a close, but all is not resolved. Reports indicate star Lauren Cohan has not finalized a deal to return for the ninth season, even as Sunday’s Season 8 closer set Maggie up for a major arc.

You’re warned of full spoilers for Sunday’s Walking Dead finale from here on out, but Maggie’s presence in Season 9 may be surprisingly short-lived, if she appears at all. The AMC horror-drama finally wrapped its “All Out War” arc with Rick and the others keeping Negan alive as a prisoner, to the detriment of Lauren Cohan’s Maggie. The character vowed to bide her time as the Hilltop’s leader and eventually take revenge – regardless of who gets in the way – but Cohan has still not inked a deal to return. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the most we may see is a three-episode deal struck with Cohan’s new ABC series, Whiskey Cavalier:

Sources tell The Hollywood reporter that the network and Whiskey producers ABC Studios were amenable to allowing the actress to return to The Walking Dead in a limited capacity to potentially close out Maggie’s storyline. Cohan’s deal for Whiskey Cavalier does leave the door open for her to return to the series on a more limited basis should she and AMC close the gap and agree to a new deal.

Departing showrunner Scott Gimple also told Deadline “we will have stuff to say about that soon, very soon,” though it would take both the failure of Whiskey Cavalier and a lucrative new deal with AMC to keep Maggie in play full-time. Considering negotiations have stalled for months, and even cast has spoken up about the network’s refusal to pay Cohan her worth, it seems likely The Walking Dead Season 9 will awkwardly scuttle Maggie’s conflict with Rick.

Production on The Walking Dead Season 9 is expected to begin in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.

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