In just a few short months, The Walking Dead will return with the midseason premiere No Way out, airing on Valentine's Day, Sunday, February 14 at 9 PM ET on AMC. The series was a huge hit from the start, but it has since grown into one of the biggest shows on any network, broadcast and cable alike. Frank Darabont created the original series and served as showrunner for the first two seasons, before he left the show. As it turns out, the series creator had originally wanted a different actor to portray Rick Grimes, according to Uproxx, Thomas Jane.
The site reports that, early on in The Walking Dead's development, Frank Darabont had been eyeing Thomas Jane to play Rick Grimes, when the series creator had been trying to sell the show to HBO. Eventually, HBO passed on the project, and then Thomas Jane became attached to star in HBO's Hung, when AMC picked up the series. Hung debuted in 2009, one year before The Walking Dead debuted on AMC. Hung only lasted for three seasons before it was canceled by HBO, while Andrew Lincoln went on to star as Rick Grimes.
At the time, Thomas Jane was a much more established actor than Andrew Lincoln, who, before starring in The Walking Dead, was perhaps best known for his role as Mark in the 2003 romance classic Love Actually. Thomas Jane had previously worked with Frank Darabont on the director's 2007 thriller Stephen King's The Mist. If Thomas Jane would have signed on to star in The Walking Dead, he wouldn't have been the first star Stephen King's The Mist to have joined the show.
The Mist stars Laurie Holden, Jeffrey DeMunn and Melissa Suzanne McBride all had starring roles in The Walking Dead. Sam Witwer also had a brief role as a zombie in the tank in the pilot episode, who tried to turn Rick into a walker, after starring in The Mist. While Frank Darabont no longer serves as a showrunner, he is still credited as executive producer on The Walking Dead, although he is no longer involved in the day-to-day operations on the show.
Thomas Jane most recently starred in Before I Wake and in the miniseries Texas Rising. On the big screen, he will next be seen in The Veil, Standoff and USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage. Would you have like to see Thomas Jane have starred in The Walking Dead? Let us know what you think, and stay tuned for more on The Walking Dead.