UNDEADWALKING.COM – It’s hard to imagine AMC’s The Walking Dead without Andrew Lincoln playing the role of protagonist Rick Grimes, but it almost didn’t happen that way.
Andrew Lincoln has become one of the most recognizable parts of The Walking Dead. His work through five and a half seasons of the show as protagonist Rick Grimes has helped to propel the show’s popularity into the stratosphere.
The man who brought the show to life on AMC, Frank Darabont, had a different man in mind to be the lead character. In fact, he wanted to bring along an actor that he had worked with previously on a popular film to star in the show as Rick Grimes.
According to a video on the L.A. Times Hero Complex website, Darabont had no problem admitting he wanted to work with the familiar actor.
“I do know one thing: I wanted this a**hole to be the star of The Walking Dead,” he said as he pointed to Thomas Jane. “I thought Tom would be awesome for that.”
Thomas Jane was a part of the movie The Mist, which was directed by Darabont and starred Jane as David Drayton. According to the video, Jane was working on the HBO series Hung at the time and wasn’t available to play Rick Grimes because of a contract situation there. Still, he was pleading to HBO to bring The Walking Dead to the network and allow him to play both roles, but the premium cable channel ultimately declined to bring the zombie survival horror program to their lineup.
It’s strange to think of how The Walking Dead would be without Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes. Lincoln has become such a regular part of the show that any other actor in that role would feel wrong. Then again, if Jane had played Rick, we might not have all the great “Coral” jokes fans have grown to love over the years.