The Walking Dead: Deleted Original Ending Revealed

The series finale of The living Dead originally ended how the show began: with Rick Grimes driving into post-apocalyptic Atlanta. Titled “Rest in Peace,” the series finale jumped a year into the future before a coda scene revealed the return of Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Michonne (Danai Gurira). The last shot of The living Dead belonged to Rick and Michonne’s children, Judith Grimes (Cailey Fleming) and younger brother Rick “RJ” Grimes Jr. (Antony Azor), looking to the future. But the episode reportedly ended very differently, with a longer flash forward in a final sequence that was filmed but deleted.

According to Insiderthe original end of The living Dead jump more than a decade into the future to reveal the kids of Rick, Michonne, Aaron (Ross Marquand), and Rosita (Christian Serratos) — an adult Judith, Rick Jr., Gracie, and Coco — searching for survivors like their parents before them. In a callback to the show’s 2010 pilot episode “Days Gone Bye”, the final lines of the series are said to have featured an adult RJ reaching out over a CB radio asking if anyone could hear his voice. Insider described the sequence:

After Daryl drove off, we continued on to the Freedom Parkway, outside of Atlanta, where Rick’s iconic shot rolled down from the pilot. See an ethanol-modified van, with a young woman and a man in the front seats (in his twenties). And through the scene, we realize it’s adult RJ and Judith. Other adult versions of the kids are in the back – Coco, Gracie, etc. They’re out there, looking to escort any survivors back to their communities. Continuation of their parents’ legacy. As RJ speaks over the radio, he ends with, “If you can hear me, answer. This is Rick Grimes.” (Which, of course, is his name – and the line Rick said in the pilot.) Then we end with a survivor’s voice responding, “…Hello?”

A person with knowledge of the deleted ending told Insider that this full conclusion was “emotionally appropriate” but contradicted the “world-building” of AMCs Walking dead Universum is expanding with three new spin-off shows in 2023, including the Rick & Michonne series. According to another insider, the original ending may have been “canned” because there was no point in “ending the show with ‘new versions’ of characters we don’t really know.”

In a separate interview with Decide, showrunner Angela Kang confirmed that she wrote a “completely different final scene” from the episode. While Kang declined to reveal the alternate ending, she said the final shot of young Judith and RJ overlooking the new Commonwealth was not “originally the last moment of the show”.

“It was something that worked well in pitch and everyone liked it, but it was one of those things when we finally saw it all put together where we were like, ‘this isn’t quite working,’ and AMC was like ‘maybe you just cut this sequence,’ and I was like, ‘I totally get that,'” Kang explained. “So then we were like, ‘So we end up with Rick/Michonne? Do we end up with Daryl driving off? Do we end up with the kids?’ But this was always meant to be about… Our generation has done all these things, and here’s who’s going to carry on the legacy.”

Stay informed Comic book/TWD and follow @CameronBonomolo & @NewsOfTheDead for more TWD Universe coverage.

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