Lennie James, who has portrayed Morgan Jones in The Walking Dead Universe since 2010, says "maybe" he'll one day return to the main show after joining spinoff Fear the Walking Dead — if Morgan survived its Season 5 finale, which ended with a gravely wounded Morgan left for dead by villain Virginia (Colby Minifie). In the tenth season of The Walking Dead — taking place after the events of Fear's fourth and fifth seasons — it's been more than six years since Morgan parted ways with Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and left Virginia for Texas, where Morgan emerged as the de facto leader of a group of survivors since separated by the Pioneers.
Morgan left Walking Dead for Fear in the franchise's first crossover event bridging the main show's Season 8 finale and the spinoff's Season 4 premiere, where Morgan headed west alone.
Since coming into contact with sharpshooter John Dorie (Garret Dillahunt), Morgan came to lead a group of redemption-seeking do-gooders including Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey), Victor Strand (Colman Domingo), Daniel (Rubén Blades), and Dwight (Austin Amelio), a familiar face who journeyed west in search of missing wife Sherry (Christine Evangelista) after he was exiled from Virginia following Negan's (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) defeat.
More than two years later, does James miss The Walking Dead?
"There are certain times of the year when I miss The Walking Dead, because I got into the [production] routine of the year: basically, everyone heads back to Atlanta or Georgia come April and everybody heads home come November, just before Thanksgiving," James told NME. "That was my pattern for a good number of years, so around those times of year when I know that everybody's heading to Atlanta, I have a pang where I kinda miss everybody and remember how much fun it was being in everybody's company. But I'm in contact with quite a few of the people I was closest to while I was filming there."
Asked if he's formed similar relationships with the cast of Fear, James answered, "I'm lucky because there's an amazing cast and crew that I've been embarking on a whole new routine with on Fear: they actually operate on the opposite half of the year, so we start in November and finish in June. So yeah, I do miss [The Walking Dead]."
"I particularly miss it when I hear from my mates who are still on the show, and I just remember the good times we had," he continued. "I also really miss Atlanta. I fell in love with that city, and I made friends there who had nothing to do with the show. Might I ever be invited back to The Walking Dead? Maybe: the ghost of Morgan!"
James has played coy about Morgan's fate since the Fear Season 5 finale, "End of the Line," where Morgan was last seen gushing blood after being shot in the shoulder. James' character has been largely absent from Fear Season 6 marketing aside from the final shot of the new season's first trailer, where Morgan can be seen opening his blood-red eyes after Virginia left him alone to be devoured by walkers.
"He was bleeding quite a bit from that wound. And, he also had walkers encroaching on him," Ian Goldberg, who serves as showrunner with Andrew Chambliss, told Insider after the season finale. "So you know, whether [the injury is] in the shoulder or the heart, it's a bad gunshot wound and it's not going to be one that he could easily survive."
Morgan once considered leading his caravan of survivors back home to Alexandria, Virginia, but that plan was abandoned. Whether or not Morgan lives long enough to one day rejoin The Walking Dead remains to be seen, but James has expressed hopes for a different kind of reunion: the actor wants to see Morgan reunite with Rick in the feature films taking place after Rick's disappearance from The Walking Dead.