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Originally, This Marvel Actor was Supposed to Play Rick Grimes on ‘The Walking Dead’

The Walking Dead” Almost Had a Different Face for Rick Grimes, but Andrew Lincoln’s Iconic Portrayal Prevailed

It’s indisputable that Rick Grimes, portrayed by Andrew Lincoln, has become the face of the “Walking Dead” franchise. Throughout the series, he emerged as the lead character, alongside other fan favorites like Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) and Maggie Rhee (Lauren Cohan). Lincoln’s exceptional portrayal of Rick has been instrumental in catapulting the character to immense popularity and cementing his status as a television icon. However, during the early stages of the show, the original vision for Rick Grimes differed from Lincoln’s casting.

In the early days of developing “The Walking Dead” for television, Frank Darabont, one of the key creative forces behind the series, pitched the concept to HBO. Interestingly, Darabont had envisioned Thomas Jane, known for his roles in “The Punisher” and “The Mist” (another Darabont project), as the ideal actor to play Rick. Unfortunately, due to scheduling conflicts with his commitment to the HBO series “Hung,” Jane couldn’t take on the role when filming for “The Walking Dead” commenced at AMC. Consequently, the opportunity fell into the capable hands of Lincoln (via Uproxx).

Originally, This Marvel Actor was Supposed to Play Rick Grimes on 'The Walking Dead'

By accepting the role of Rick Grimes, Lincoln embarked on an extensive tenure on “The Walking Dead.” Although the show has concluded, his journey as Rick is far from over.

From 2010 to 2022, “The Walking Dead” captivated audiences with its 11 seasons and nearly 180 episodes. During this remarkable run, Andrew Lincoln brought Rick Grimes to life in 120 of those installments. While he bid farewell to the series as a regular in Season 9, Rick’s ultimate fate remained shrouded in ambiguity as he was airlifted with severe injuries for treatment. However, the Season 11 finale, “Rest in Peace,” revealed that Rick is alive and determined to reunite with his chosen family, particularly Michonne (Danai Gurira).

Although Lincoln has already completed a commendable tenure as Rick, it seems he isn’t quite done with the character yet. The Season 11 cliffhanger sets the stage for a miniseries dedicated to Rick and Michonne, as they embark on a perilous journey to find one another. Scheduled to air in 2024, this miniseries replaces the long-delayed Rick-centric film. It makes one wonder if Thomas Jane would have been willing to commit to portraying Rick for such an extended period, had he been cast in the role.

While it’s intriguing to speculate how Jane might have approached the character of Rick, it is undeniably clear that Lincoln was destined to bring him to life.

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