It should come as no surprise that on the heels of both Andrew Lincoln and Lauren Cohan departing The Walking Dead, AMC has locked up Norman Reedus and Melissa McBride to lucrative long term contracts.
I would’ve thought that the contracts would have been identical, however, this isn’t the case. McBride will be paid a reported $20 Million over the next three years while Reedus stands to earn double or triple that in the same period.
These Walking Dead contracts, while they include the regular show, allows the actors to appear in things outside of it. This may or may not include a television spin-off, a movie, or another form of media. By doing this, AMC has allowed themselves to do whatever they wish with the characters with no repercussion. If they are killed off in main continuity, the characters can live on outside of it.
If using the characters outside the main continuity seems confusing, remember that the show is based on a comic book. In the world of comic books, characters, universes, and plot lines are as interchangeable as different cereals at breakfast.
More importantly, producers and executives has been rushing to create shared universes for their characters. Using Reedus and McBride outside the television show allows exactly this.
Since Marvel masterfully built their MCU, companies such as Sony, Fox, Warner Bros., Paramount, and now AMC are doing everything that they can to follow suit. Unfortunately, each has had a varying degree of success. What nobody seems to understand as well as Marvel is
I say good for AMC for locking up two of their three stars. With Chandler Riggs and now Andrew Lincoln, and Lauren Cohan gone from the show, they did the right thing. Although, in hindsight, it was the only thing…
Now to land the biggest fish and finalize the contract for Danai Gurira…
Given her success outside of The Walking Dead (Black Panther), this one may be a little more challenging than the others.