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The Walking Dead will be going through more growing pains in Season 10, as series lead Danai Gurira makes her transition away from the zombie drama. One star who almost definitely won't be making any sudden exists, however, is Judith Grimes' preteen portrayer Cailey Fleming. Some of the details behind the actress' Season 10 contract reportedly went public, revealing that Fleming will be earning some serious moolah when The Walking Dead returns to AMC.
For The Walking Dead Season 10, Cailey Fleming will reportedly be earning upwards of $250,000 to continue playing the role of the youthful badass Judith Grimes, who will potentially soon be the show's last vestige of its former main character, Rick Grimes. Earning $250,000 in a year is no joke for a 12-year-old actor, and it's no mystery that Fleming landed one of TV's most plum roles for someone her age.
Breaking that payday down a bit, Cailey Fleming will technically earn an average of $15,625 for each of the 16 episodes that'll make up The Walking Dead Season 10. That may seem like fairly small potatoes in comparison Norman Reedus, for example, whose contract renewal supposedly set him up to make around $350,000 per episode.
But then take into account that Judith only appeared in seven episodes from Season 9, and wasn't exactly a narrative lynchpin every time she was on the screen. Fans can probably expect to see more from Judith next season, thus the promotion, but her duties still won't be on par with those of Norman Reedus or any of The Walking Dead's adult regulars who have been around for the majority of the show's run.
In any case, The Blast noted another contractual detail that could end up padding Cailey Fleming's bank account even more than her episodic salary. She (or more likely her legal representatives) managed to negotiate 5% of The Walking Dead's merchandising gold mine for any specific products that feature her character. (No worries about the comic version butting in, since Comic Judith died along with Lori.)
Anyone who has paid attention The Walking Dead tie-in merch over the years probably understands how lucrative Cailey Fleming's contractual stipulation is. For one, the show's overall success is very much tied to its increasingly widening surplus of toys, books, games, collectible figures etc. The millions of dollars that AMC has raked in over Walking Dead swag has made it far easier for the network to handle the show's declining ratings.
It's noted that her contract guarantees Cailey Fleming an additional $10,000 in location fees, should The Walking Dead require the actress to make a semi-permanent move while the show is in production. As well, she's guaranteed to get first class accommodations any time she has to travel for the series.
Not that Cailey Fleming will still be dealing with things that normal 12-year-olds worry about, such as educational learning. Following the summer off-season, the actress will have a personal tutor on the set that will provide her school-centric lessons. One wonders if former star Chandler Riggs had any advice for Fleming on how to balance the school/work issues, considering he spent most of his teens as a Walking Dead mainstay.
Now all we need to know is everything that Cailey Fleming will be doing as Judith Grimes in Season 10. Will she get involved with the big radio storyline? Will she continue to build up her bond with Negan as he continues to sli-i-ightly redeem himself for his heinous past? Will Judith actually be allowed to stick around on The Walking Dead even if her mom Michonne is no longer around to take care of her? What happens to RJ? So many questions!
The Walking Dead hasn't yet determined a specific premiere date for Season 10, but viewers can expect to see the show returning to AMC at some point in October.