Former The Walking Dead star Michael Cudlitz would have liked to see his Abraham and lover Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) fight side-by-side in the war against Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and the Saviors — and says the Army Sergeant would have put a bullet in the villain’s forehead.
Asked at Fan Expo Vancouver how Abraham would have dealt with Negan if he had survived beyond their first encounter in the two-part Season Six finale and Season Seven opener, Cudlitz admitted it’s “hard to play the ‘what if’ game.”
“What if Abraham would have opened up on the [Saviors] on the road and killed the guys in the first roadblock? What if Rick wasn’t such a punk [laughs]... that maybe he listened to Carl when Carl said let’s kill everybody. There were a lot of mistakes made,” Cudlitz said.
“I don’t know what he would have done, because I have trouble sort of reconciling what they had him do.”
Abraham was ultimately bludgeoned to death with Negan’s barbwire-wrapped baseball bat Lucille moments before the same fate befell Glenn (Steven Yeun), husband of Maggie (Lauren Cohan).
In Season Nine, Maggie clashed with Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) over his unilateral decision to spare and jail the ousted Savior leader, only reconciling with Rick’s choice after she refused to execute a crying and pleading Negan in 904 — choosing instead to force him to continue serving his pitiful existence in solitary confinement.
“I think he would have been at that point more like Maggie was, where he was like, alright, because if he wouldn’t have killed me, he would have killed somebody else,” Cudlitz explained. “It would have been like alright, now we’ve seen what your plan did, now we’re gonna do something else.”
Had Abraham survived that first encounter with Negan in the clearing, Cudlitz said he “would have loved to have seen Abraham and Sasha actually be soldiers together for a little bit. I wanted to see what would have happened with that.”
“You can’t really do the ‘what if’ game. ‘What if Shane was still alive? If Merle was still alive? What if Shane, Merle, and Abraham were still alive together?’ Alright, there would be no Saviors. It’s kinda cool, but that’s not what we’re dealing with,” he added.
“We’re dealing with people that are evolving at different rates and choosing different choices in their lives. It’s very much a social experiment as to what people do. At different points in your life, you want to fight, or get reconciled, and you kind of just play the hand you’re dealt.”
Abraham would have taken a more forceful approach when retaliating against Negan and the Savior compound in the Season Eight opener, where Rick and allies opened fire on the Sanctuary’s windows — a ploy to attract a nearby herd of walkers towards the base and trap the Saviors inside.
“My favorite thing is, like, ‘Okay, we’re trying to kill Negan for a year-and-a-half, we get him on the balcony with about 50 weapons pointed at him, and we decide to shoot the windows out.’ Okay. What, really?” Cudlitz said, before not-so-seriously admitting “that was bullsh-t.”
“He’s out on the balcony, and everybody all of a sudden looks like they took weapons training from the A-Team,” he joked. “I’d have found him.”
Then, pantomiming shooting Negan between the eyes, “Welcome to the neighborhood!”
The first-time director returned to The Walking Dead in Season Nine, helming episode 907, “Stradivarius.”1comments
“It was a big deal in the sense that it was a big deal for them and a huge opportunity for me, because I had not directed anything ever before,” Cudlitz said. “So for them to take that chance with the show, it was really an honor, and it came out great.”
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.