The Walking Dead actor John Carroll Lynch is in talks to reprise his role for the upcoming anthology series spinoff Tales of the Walking Dead. Per franchise boss Scott M. Gimple, the upcoming series will present a different one-off story per episode so fans will never know exactly what they'll see next. This concept will see the series delve into new parts of The Walking Dead world previously left unexplored, which opens the door for deceased characters to return in new prequel episodes.
Speaking about what could happen in the new show in New York Comic-Con's "Walking Dead Showrunners Summit" panel, Gimple had this to say about Lynch's Tales of the Walking Dead return.
"I want to talk to Mr. Lynch first [before writing the episode], but yes. He'd be game. We've talked a little bit about it."
While Lynch's time on the parent series was brief, it was highly memorable. In the season 6 episode "Here's Not Here," Lynch played Eastman, a psychiatrist who lost his wife and children to a former patient around the start of the apocalypse. After getting his revenge, Eastman realized that he achieved no peace from killing the man, completely changing his way of life. He adopts a pacifist lifestyle, using the art of Aikido to protect himself without killing anyone. Along with a copy of the book The Art of Peace, Eastman bestows these lessons onto Morgan before succumbing to a walker bite.
Following Eastman's death, Morgan kept his spirit alive by using his weapon of choice, a staff, to dispatch raiders and walkers. For a good long while, Morgan also maintained the pacifist lifestyle he learned from Eastman, though the time would eventually come to go back on that. Other Easter eggs have kept Eastman alive as well. Morgan has also alluded to his mentor since season 6 of The Walking Dead, including telling Grace in Fear the Walking Dead about how he learned that "all life is precious" --- something Eastman had taught him in that episode.
Nearly any other character from the history of The Walking Dead could also potentially show up in the anthology series. Michael Cudlitz has teased a comeback as Abraham Ford in one of these special episodes, and Ryan Hurst has also teased a prequel episode about Beta of the Whisperers. For now, fans of the franchise can also discuss who else they'd like to revisit one more time in a Tales of the Walking Dead episode. One of the most popular options would seem to be Steven Yeun, whose character's death led to a mass exodus of millions of fans who immediately gave up on the series.
It has been announced that The Walking Dead will be coming to an end after an extra-long eleventh and final season. The plan as of now is for the show to conclude in 2022. Still, AMC will keep the universe going strong with new episodes of Fear the Walking Dead and Tales of the Walking Dead. Norman Reedus and Melissa McBride will also continue their adventures as Daryl Dixon and Carol Peletier in an untitled spinoff series to begin after the parent series comes to a close. You can watch the full Walking Dead showrunners panel below, courtesy of New York Comic-Con on YouTube.