Fans of FX's Archer were heartbroken to learn of the death of Jessica Walter, who has voiced no-nonsense matriarch Malory Archer since the start of the show. As Archer heads into Season 12, the question remains of what happens to Malory. Who will voice her? And what will happen to the character if the show gets another season?
Who will voice Malory Archer in Season 12 of 'Archer'?
Although Season 12 was still in production at the time of Jessica's death, the cast members completed their voice work before then. Executive producer Casey Willis confirmed to IndieWire that Jessica had finished her lines as Malory for Season 12, allowing her to bring life to the character once more before she died.
“Jessica really lent so much credibility to the show,” he said. “We have a great voiceover cast ... Her presence helped in signing other voice actors. In a lot of ways, if it weren’t for Jessica, who knows if Archer would’ve made it? She was a delightful, caring person, and her wit was [always on display]."
What will happen to Malory if the show is renewed for Season 13?
As of this writing, Archer has not yet been renewed for another season, but if it is, the showrunners will have to make some tough choices about what to do with Malory. When George Coe, who played Archer's butler Woodhouse, died in 2015, he was killed off instead of replaced. Most likely, we should expect Jessica's death to be written into the show, similarly to how George's death was.
FX executives have made it clear that they do want to continue the series and are optimistic that they can. But they don't want to change Malory's voice if the show goes for more seasons.
President of FX Entertainment Eric Schrier told Deadline that the creative team behind Archer is "making adjustments" to address Jessica's death on the show. "That was a very close-knit group, so losing Jessica was a big loss, but I think creatively, they are trying to figure out a way to proceed forward," he said. FX Networks Chairman John Landgraf added that Jessica is "irreplaceable."
Although we don't yet know what creative changes the Archer team had to make due to Jessica's death, fans should likely expect that a Season 13 will be on its way. However, the executives did note that the spinoff ideas that have been thrown around in recent years are not expected to happen anytime soon, though they are open to spinoffs in the future if the Archer showrunners are interested.
In the meantime, you can hear Jessica Walter as Malory Archer when Archer returns on Aug. 25 at 10 p.m. EST on FXX.