TV pilot season is currently in full swing, with networks putting out offers to actors to join the cast for their new pilots. Surprisingly, one of the most in-demand stars this pilot season is The Walking Dead star Lauren Cohan, who has reportedly been offered upwards of six different pilots to star in, which has lead to speculation that her character Maggie Rhee will be killed off of the hit zombie series in the back half of Season 8. The news is especially intriguing since the character is still alive in the comics, but the show has proven its willingness to divert from the comics in sometimes shocking ways.
While there hasn't been any confirmation that Maggie has been killed off, and there likely won't be until the episode where she dies airs, this is certainly not the first time that casting reports from other projects have foreshadowed the death of a character on The Walking Dead. Before his Shane character was killed off Jon Bernthal had been cast in the short-lived TNT drama series Mob City, and the casting of Sarah Wayne Callies in the movie Into the Storm, while The Walking Dead was still in production on Season 3, also raised some eyebrows and ultimately provided an early hint at her demise. Steven Yeun was also cast in the Netflix movie Okja, leading fans to correctly speculate that he would be killed by Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), when that villain was introduced, just like Negan killed him in the comics.
This also comes just as the mid-season finale teases what will ultimately be the show's biggest death thus far, Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs), who has been on the show since the very first episode and, like Maggie, is still alive in the comics. In the two-volume All Out War comics, there were no major character deaths, with King Ezekiel's tiger Shiva perhaps the most notable casualty in the comics, who was also killed in the series, which ultimately starts King Ezekiel's (Khary Payton) downward spiral, of sorts. As this conflict with Negan and The Saviors continues to escalate, if this news is true, the biggest question then may be, who will kill Maggie?
Negan could be one of the most obvious choices, since he was the one who killed Maggie's husband Glenn, but it may also be too obvious. Given that she is still alive in the comics, there isn't much else to go on, but another possibility could be Gregory (Xander Berkeley), the former leader of the Hilltop Colony before Maggie took over. There has certainly been no love lost between Maggie and Gregory, and there was even a Season 7 scene where it seemed he was contemplating killing Maggie while her back was turned, but ultimately decided against it.
Lauren Cohan joined the hit series in Season 2, and her contract on the show is up after Season 8, although the actress has made no indication that she will be leaving the show after Season 8, which will wrap up the All Out War story line. The actress has been branching out to movies in recent years, portraying Greta Evans in The Boy, Martha Wayne in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Leila Steinberg in the Tupac Shakur biopic All Eyez On Me. She is currently filming Mile 22 with Mark Wahlberg and John Malkovich. The report from Deadline indicated that Lauren Cohan sought parity with her male co-stars Andrew Lincoln and Norman Reedus, who get paid significantly more than she does. AMC offered her a modest raise in exchange for a long-term contract, but she reportedly turned it down. Some sources claim that the network didn't come back with another offer, which has reportedly lead to the actress fielding these multiple offers, while other sources claim there are "active talks" with the actress to return for Season 9. Hopefully we'll get some clarity on Lauren Cohan's status on The Walking Dead soon.