Will The Walking Dead Universe one day reunite Andrew Lincoln’s Rick Grimes and Lennie James’ Morgan Jones? Rick and Morgan have an uncanny ability to reconnect: after first parting ways in The Walking Dead’s first season, Rick found a then-crazed Morgan in Season 3 before Morgan, journeying from Georgia to Virginia, assimilated into the Alexandria community in Season 6. When the Savior war ended, Morgan ran away from Virginia and ended up in Texas, joining Fear the Walking Dead. The spinoff’s fifth season ended on a cliffhanger with Morgan shot and left for dead as a pack of walkers closed in, but mounting evidence suggests Morgan might have survived.
The helicopter responsible for Rick’s disappearance appeared in Fear Season 5 episode “The End of Everything,” where Althea (Maggie Grace) encountered CRM soldier Isabelle (Sydney Lemmon). This organization goes on to abduct a gravely wounded Rick roughly seven months in the future.
That bottle episode, focused on Al and Isabelle, had little impact on Fear Season 5, which largely ignored the CRM conspiracy set up in the front half of the season. Fear showrunners Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg have since hinted Isabelle could “pop up” later in TWD Universe, likely in the movies, set to explore the “vast mythology” behind CRM.
The episode might have doubled as set up for Morgan’s rescue. Like Rick, a gravely wounded Morgan might have been collected by CRM and relocated to Philadelphia.
Months before it was learned Lincoln’s exit from The Walking Dead would be followed by his return as Rick Grimes in a movie trilogy, James said he joined Fear when TWD chief content officer Scott Gimple approached him with an offer to be at the center of the first-ever crossover between the two shows.
According to James, Gimple said Morgan was the only choice for the crossover. Had James declined, the story would have gone in a “completely different direction.”
James also consulted with Lincoln before making the move. When James requested to meet with Lincoln before deciding, Gimple had one request: he wanted to meet with Lincoln first.
In August 2018, James recounted fielding a pitch from Gimple concerning Morgan’s future with the franchise:
“And then at the end of it, he said, ‘You have any questions?’ And I said, ‘I don’t. I don’t have any questions because I don’t know what I think and I don’t know what I feel. I need to speak to my wife and I’d like permission to speak to Andy,’” James said at Comic Con Honolulu. “And he said, ‘Let me speak to Andy first, but absolutely.’”
In theory, Gimple could have laid out plans to transition Morgan from the television side of the franchise to the films. Such a move would fulfill Lincoln’s suspicions Rick and Morgan will one day meet again.
“There was a sort of sense, certainly, with Lennie, that it’s until we meet again. It’s always been that way with Rick and Morgan,” Lincoln previously told EW following TWD’s Season 8 finale. “I don’t know, there’s something in the air, that I feel that it’s not quite the end yet for Rick and Morgan.”0comments
AMC and Universal Pictures have yet to announce release dates for the TWD movies.
New episodes of The Walking Dead Season 10 premiere Sundays at 9/8c on AMC. For more TWD intel, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.