Robert Kirkman was a recent guest on Sundance's The Writer’s Room, and chatted quite a bit about The Walking Dead. One interesting reveal: Everyone’s favorite character almost didn’t exist.
Kirkman, who co-created both the TV series and comic it’s based on, opened up about his first interaction with fan-favorite star Norman Reedus and how the character Daryl Dixon came to be a part of the television series.
As fans already know, Daryl and his brother Merle are not in the comics, which made them agents of change in the television series by giving the writers some new elements to mix into the existing storylines. But according to Kirkman, Merle was the only Dixon they’d plan to have in the series — at least until they met Reedus:
“Daryl Dixon is my favorite element of the television show, and when we saw Norman Reedus, you know, all the producers kind of got together and we were like, 'We love this guy, we've got to get him in the show somehow.' So suddenly Merle had a brother named Daryl.”
It’s fascinating to think how close the series came to not featuring one of its main characters, and it happened by pure happenstance that Reedus was such a hit in the audition. How do you think the series would’ve fared up to this point without Daryl?