[Spoilers for The Walking Dead]
By now, you know what happened to Rick Grimes in “What Comes After,” Andrew Lincoln’s final episode of The Walking Dead, and you’re probably still trying to process it. Instead of dying, as most viewers predicted, the former sheriff survives a bridge explosion and hops into Jadis’ ever-present helicopter, leaving behind Michonne, Maggie, and Daryl, who all believe he’s dead, for parts unknown. (We’ll find out in a series of movies that will air on AMC.)
Rick Grimes almost had a different fate on The Walking Dead, though. When asked by the Hollywood Reporter whether the original pitch was for the beleaguered character to die, Lincoln replied, “Yes.” He continued, “There were many iterations [of Rick’s endgame]. A lot of it was down to the good people at AMC, who just said no and they thought it would be an interesting and exciting proposition to expand rather than contract the show.” More:
Realistically, this decision was all about time. For me to want to do a limited number of episodes [of The Walking Dead] a year wouldn’t feel like I was doing my job properly because playing this part has been so all-encompassing. I think I would get frustrated with that. So the idea of being able to contain the story and still work just as hard and tell a different story in maybe a more expansive narrative way seemed very exciting to me.
Lincoln also revealed that if AMC had declined the TV/movies pitch, he still would have walked (or, uh, flown) away. “It’s a very hard industry and when you get the golden ticket you want to hold onto it. I totally understand that. But my situation is a bit different,” the actor said. “It was getting harder for me to have longer absences because we couldn’t move the kids as freely as we used to be able to. It’s very difficult explaining to a 6-year-old boy why their father has to leave for three months. I wasn’t willing to keep doing that.”
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(Via The Hollywood Reporter)