Most fans agree Andrew Lincoln shaped up to be a fine portrayer of ex-cop Rick Grimes, central character of The Walking Dead (or at least its pilot). But he wasn’t the original actor the producers had in mind.
Uproxx reports that the role of Rick was originally intended to be given to actor Tom Jane. This was back when they were attempting to sell the series to HBO. Home Box Office ultimately passed, freeing them to pitch to AMC — but not before HBO turned around and went “YOINK,” stealing Tom Jane for their own series “Hung.”
Jane might be most known as the titular Frank Castle of the 2004 Punisher movie, though he’s also been in a lot of things. (Coincidentally, guess who’s about to play The Punisher in Season 2 of Netflix’s Daredevil? Jon Bernthal, who played Shane on TWD. Now I’m picturing Castle rubbing the back of his own neck a lot and trying to seduce other people’s wives. Get out of my head, Shane.)
Lincoln was the result of the recast, and the rest is history. AMC got something besides Mad Men to stay culturally relevant with and HBO got, uh, “Hung.” Five and a half seasons so far with no sign of slowing down. The show returns February 14.