Lincoln reached 103 recorded appearances when he permanently exited the television series in November's 905, 'What Comes After.' Now the first-billed star on The Walking Dead, Reedus previously said instituting Daryl as the "new Rick" would act as a "disservice" to the show and its fans.
"I immediately called everybody and I was like, 'Look, I don't want Andy's speeches, I don't want Rick Grimes' [speeches],'" Reedus told The IMDb Show.
"Daryl's not the type of character that's gonna build a soapbox and say, 'Gather around, let me give you an inspirational speech.' He's gonna be like, 'I trust you, I don't really trust you, I don't care what happens to you,' he's gonna pick his people. I was like, 'Don't give me those.' Because I'm not that guy and it would be a disservice to the fans of the show and what we've done so far to make me put on his boots."
Despite a jump to the movie side of the franchise — Lincoln next returns as Rick in a trilogy of television movies overseen by Walking Dead chief content officer Scott Gimple — Reedus in July characterized Rick as "the quarterback of this football team," adding "he's always been, he always will be."
"No one's going to take over Rick's place, that's not happening," Reedus explained.
"There are certain people that have been there for a while that will keep doing their roles, and some of those are leadership type roles, like Michonne is a person you would go to, Carol is a person you would go to, Daryl perhaps would be a person that you'd go to, or Ezekiel. There's lots of us."
Rick's disappearance and presumed death initiated a six-year time jump, bringing with it upped roles for Michonne (Danai Gurira), Carol (Melissa McBride), Judith (Cailey Fleming), and Henry (Matt Lintz), alongside more attention on an ensemble that has since grown to include newcomers Magna (Nadia Hilker), Connie (Lauren Ridloff), Kelly (Angel Theory), Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura), and Luke (Dan Fogler).
Reedus, who first appeared in the third episode of The Walking Dead's premiere season, recently told The Off Camera Show he originally believed he'd only last "an episode or two."
The Walking Dead airs new episodes Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.
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