Right after wrapping a day of shooting on one of the last episodes of The Walking Dead’s season six, Executive Producer and special make-up effects guru Greg Nicotero, sat down with Comic Book.com to talk about the mega-hit zombie drama.
From that interview two aspects of current Walking Dead speculation and rumor seemed to have been quite nicely and specifically addressed with what would seem to be a good degree of certainty and finality. The first issue was whether or not Norman Reedus‘ Walking Dead and fan favorite character, Darryl Dixon, will be killed off so as to allow him to star in his recently AMC green-lit reality based motorcycle show, ‘Riding with Norman Reedus’?
While the recently announced unscripted reality based AMC show will feature biker-enthusiast Norman Reedus exploring local motorcycle culture in cities around the country, the news of the pending show had in fact spurred rumors that Reedus would as a result, be departing from the show. When asked about this, Nicotero had this response;
“No! That show is something he shot a promo for before we even started shooting. I saw that that was announced and he’s like “Oh, man! Now everyone’s gonna think that you guys don’t want me on the show anymore!” No. It’s completely different. We have lots of our actors that go off and do different things in between. He did a movie last year that Robert Kirkman and Dave Alpert produced. That didn’t mean he wasn’t coming back, a lot of people just assume that.”
So, if we are to take Nicotero at his word, it would in fact seem that the fans will not be losing Reedus this season to his new reality show. With that said however, Nicotero did not say that Reedus’ character would not be killed off this season, he simply said that he would not be leaving The Walking Dead due to his new reality show. So all the fans can do is continue to keep their fingers crossed that the show’s producers will not kill off Darryl Dixon as part of their plan for the series in general.
Likewise, when the fans witnessed Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) get a nasty cut to his hand in the episode entitled ‘Thank You’, there was quite a bit of speculation that Rick would be losing his hand much like The Walking Dead’s comic book character. When Nicotero was asked about Rick’s hand, here is what he had to say on the topic;
“You know, it’s so funny… The whole Rick losing his hand conversation, (Andrew Lincoln) has told me a thousand times, “Listen, let’s just chop it off. I don’t know why he has a hand. I think it would be great.” I don’t think there was ever a time where we didn’t do it because we didn’t think it wouldn’t be great for his character but unlike Hershel’s leg where we were able to shoot long dialogue scenes between Hershel and Glenn and we didn’t have to worry about the visual effects of digitally removing his foot in every shot. With Merle, I designed this cool arm specifically to hide his stump. What we ended up doing was we did one shot where he took it off and showed the stump to Andrea and then he slid it back on. I think it would be very challenging indeed to try to deal with removing Rick’s hand from a technical standpoint.”
Now to be honest, Nicotero’s answer to the question of the fate of Rick’s hand was much more ambiguous than his response to Dixon’s fate on the series as it relates to Reedus’ upcoming show. With that said however, it would seem that Nicotero was really talking about the logistics needed in order to deal with Rick losing his hand. Unlike other characters who have lost a limb on the show, it would seem that the loss of Rick’s hand would not be as simple as using different camera angles or props to deal with the missing limb.
Rather it seems that the loss of Rick’s hand would in fact be somewhat of a nuisance from a production perspective. Likewise, Robert Kirkman, the show’s creator has gone on the record in the past as saying that were he to do it all again from the comic perspective, he probably would not have had the Governor cut off Rick’s hand.
So it would seem that the likelihood of Rick loosing his hand is not too high, but then again; with The Walking Dead, you simply never know what the show’s producers have in mind.