The Walking Dead chief content officer Scott Gimple has revealed plans to bring back dead characters in event or other limited series, suggesting a potential return for fan-favorite Glenn Rhee (Steven Yeun). Glenn, a pizza delivery boy turned expert supply runner in the wake of the zombie apocalypse, was among the first survivors encountered by Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) in the show's first season. Glenn survived until the Season 7 premiere, where he was murdered by the baseball bat-swinging Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). Unlike other deceased characters — who appeared after their deaths in flashback, dream sequences or hallucinations — Yeun has yet to revisit the series, now midway through its tenth season.
"I’m trying to get together a number of different things that we can show at different times during the year, and this focuses on characters we miss and we lost," Gimple recently told EW of long gestating plans to fill in the blanks left by dead characters, describing these standalone projects as "little zombie tales that happen in our world with our rules and our timeline but are just really great zombie stories, really great stories of the end of the world."
He said later, "It’s awesome to be able to play with characters that we’ve lost, and it’s awesome to fill in some of the blanks."
Persistent rumors pointed to one such project centering around Abraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz) — killed alongside Glenn in 701, "The Day Will Come When You Won't Be" — but no such murmurs exist surrounding Yeun's return to TWD Universe, despite the prominent role held by Glenn's widow Maggie (Lauren Cohan).
As reported by ComicBook.com in April, Yeun indicated he had no interest in reprising his role.
"I really like finishing things, because I rarely finish things," Yeun, now 36, said at Walker Stalker Con London. "I have so many books that I’ve read halfway through or movies that I’ve seen a quarter of the way, or games that I start and I never finish. But there’s something super incredible about closing the book and dying."
He continued, "And so for Walking Dead, that’s it for me. I know I’ll probably be remembered in part by that show for probably the rest of my life, but I really love the fact that I can just seal it and say, 'That’s finished.' And that’s really cool, super satisfying."
Asked again if he might consider returning in any capacity, Yeun said, "No, like I said, I’m really happy with the finish of the chapter of that life." Ending something, Yeun added, is "like the greatest feeling in the world."
"And I’m sure, have you played a bunch of games in your life, video games? Isn’t it awesome when it’s game over and you win? You don’t want to play it again, right?" he said. "I mean, I want to watch it again and I want to talk to my friends and experience the idea of it again, but that game is hard. [Laughs] And I’m different now. So yeah, I think that’s kind of the show in and of itself, is we all just kind of move forward."
A Glenn-centric project set in the earliest days of the outbreak appears to be off the table, but Gimple is developing numerous miniseries, specials and other shorter length series capable of bringing back any of the dozens of killed characters lost along the series' ten-year history. According to Gimple, these projects feature a wide range of tones and will explore different genres and time periods.