‘Walking Dead’ Star Jeffrey Dean Morgan Not Happy With AMC’s Carl Twist
The Walking Dead made waves with a significant change to the source material in recent weeks, and fallout continues to rain. Series lead Jeffrey Dean Morgan is the latest to admit he’s “disappointed” with how AMC handled a major character exit, citing it as a reason he joined the series in the first place.
You’re warned of full Walking Dead Season 8 spoilers from this point on, but we are of course talking about Chandler Riggs’ exit as Carl Grimes. The long-rumored demise was confirmed back in December, but only depicted onscreen in Sunday’s midseason premiere, “Honor.” Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s big bad Negan scarcely appeared in that episode, but Riggs’ departure significantly alters the comic source material, in which Negan and Carl continue their complicated relationship all the way through a notable time-jump. That relationship is precisely why Morgan agreed to take the role in the first place, and the actor got candid about his disappointment in a farewell Instagram to Riggs:
Honestly… a huge reason I wanted so badly to join this band of misfits… was because I was such a fan of the Negan Carl relationship in the comics… that storyline was one of my favorites, as I know it was one of yours. I’ll forever be dissaponted [sic] we only scratched the surface of what could have been.
The full post, for posterity:
SPOILER (for the six people that are somehow in the dark… and get news from Instagram?) @chandlerriggs5 man.... what a pleasure. Not only getting to work with you… but, getting to know you. You, my friend, are an incredible young man. Well before joining this cast I was a fan… a fan that loved watching you grow up in front of a camera. From the moment you first put on the way too large sheriffs hat as a boy… to the end, the hat so befitting of the man Carl had become. Wiser and more compassionate than all of us. You held all of our hearts. Honestly… a huge reason I wanted so badly to join this band of misfits… was because I was such a fan of the Negan Carl relationship in the comics… that storyline was one of my favorites, as I know it was one of yours. I’ll forever be dissaponted we only scratched the surface of what could have been. BUT… I can take total solace in the fact that you are out there… doing your thing. You’ve grown into an amazing young man as well as a powerful actor… the world is your oyster Riggs. We all get to sit back and watch you kill it. So.. know you are missed on the show… but know you have a big ole group of family all here for you if needed… and eagerly awaiting whatever comes next. Love you Riggs. See you soon.
Morgan’s role on the show has since become somewhat open-ended, as producers remain cryptic about following comic storylines without Carl or the potential time-jump. Season 8 has thus far depicted the comics’ future Alexandria as one of Carl’s hopeful visions for the future, with the exception of Negan as an accepted member of the community. The books feature Negan as a prisoner after the events of “All Out War”; either case implying Morgan will remain with the series.
The Walking Dead itself remains in transition, given diminished ratings and cast turnover, so how long might Jeffrey Dean Morgan stick around without Carl?
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