‘The Walking Dead’: Daryl Won’t Give Up Searching for Rick

Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) is on the hunt for the believed-dead Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), and he won’t stop searching until he finds a body.

“I think he wants confirmation. I think he’s the type of guy that, he needs facts,” Reedus said on Talking Dead. “Even with Sophia (Madison Lintz)... he doesn’t give up. And until he finds a body, he’s gonna keep looking.”

Having witnessed Rick’s apparent death in a walker swarmed bridge explosion, Daryl retreated into the woods on a six-year search to recover Rick’s body.

The woods-dwelling loner later admitted to Carol (Melissa McBride) “it just got easier to stay out here,” and has since apologized to Michonne (Danai Gurira) for failing to bring her closure with a body to bury.

Unbeknown to his still-grieving family, Rick washed ashore, wounded but alive. He was then rescued by a fleeing Anne (Pollyanna McIntosh) and whisked away aboard a helicopter to parts unknown.

While Lincoln will not be returning to the television series — Rick will instead next resurface in a trilogy of television movies — a reunion in the movie-side of the franchise is possible as Reedus’ recently inked three-year franchise deal includes an option to appear outside the mothership television series.

Such a trajectory is expected for Gurira, who is the next major Walking Dead star slated to leave the television show in Season Ten.

Michonne’s “handful” of final episodes will reportedly be interspersed throughout the next season and could include the option to cross over into the movies, which Lincoln anticipates will continue and then “complete” Rick’s story.

“I love this character; I love the world that we inhabit,” Lincoln previously recounted to THR of his thoughts behind withdrawing from the series in favor of leading an offshoot movie franchise.

“So why don’t we try to potentially continue this story in a different way and maybe complete his story so the mothership can continue?”

Though Reedus has yet to reveal if he’ll ever appear in the movies, his renewed deal allows Daryl to “move freely among new projects in the Walking Dead universe,” making it possible for Daryl and Michonne to reunite with Rick sometime over the course of the trilogy.

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Reedus has said he intends to stick with The Walking Dead until the end — whatever form that may take — telling ComicBook.com, “I started on Season One of the show, and I’d love to bookend it.”

The Walking Dead Season Nine airs Sundays on AMC. The network has yet to announce a release date for its first Rick Grimes movie.