‘The Walking Dead’: Here’s Who Could Have Played Rick Grimes And Negan

'The Walking Dead' could have looked very different if other actors had been picked for the roles of Rick Grimes and Negan.

Composite image featuring Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes and Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan, as seen in AMC's 'The Walking Dead'
Gene Page / AMC

'The Walking Dead' could have looked very different if other actors had been picked for the roles of Rick Grimes and Negan.

For fans of The Walking Dead, it is hard to imagine anyone else playing Rick Grimes but Andrew Lincoln. The same goes for Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who plays Negan. However, according to Uproxx, there are several other actors that could have just as easily become synonymous with these iconic Walking Dead characters.

As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Negan is currently a member of the antagonistic group, the Whisperers, after someone secretly set him free from a Alexandrian jail cell in the first half of Season 10. Rick, on the other hand, is presumed dead by the communities after an explosion at a bridge in Season 9 of The Walking Dead. However, the audience knows that he is still alive after being rescued by Anne/Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh) and that his story will be explored further in a trio of movies said to be in development with AMC.

For many fans, the actors selected to play these roles are perfect, and it is hard to imagine anyone else as either character. However, there were other actors that could have filled the positions.

The original showrunner for Season 1 of The Walking Dead, Frank Darabont, had one of his preferred actors as a potential Rick Grimes. Thomas Jane, who appeared in Darabont’s The Mist, was the initial candidate to play Rick when the idea was being pitched to HBO. However, once AMC picked up the series, Jane dropped out.

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes and Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan, behind the scenes image from Episode 4 of AMC's 'The Walking Dead' Season 7
  Gene Page / AMC

Other actors which were also linked with trying out for the character include Jamie Bamber (Battlestar Galactica), Stuart Townsend (League of Extraordinary Gentlemen), Ethan Embry (Can’t Hardly Wait), and Mark Pellegrino (Lost).

What about Negan?

Henry Rollins, the former frontman for the punk band Black Flag, believes that the role of Negan was written by comic book creator Robert Kirkman with himself in mind. However, Kirkman has previously said that Mad Men star Jon Hamm also would have been perfect as Negan. In fact, he even met with Hamm in order to discuss the role. However, nothing ever eventuated.

Garret Dillahunt, a fan of the franchise, was eager to take on the coveted role. Unfortunately, thanks to a scheduling difference, this never came about. However, that actually worked in his favor, and he wound up as the fan-favorite character, John Dorie, on AMC’s companion series, Fear the Walking Dead.

Matthew Lillard also auditioned for the role of Negan. The actor also revealed that he received a couple of callbacks. Ultimately, though, he was unsuccessful. Finally, Matt Dillon was also another actor who auditioned but was unsuccessful.

Season 10 of AMC’s The Walking Dead will return on February 23.