'Walking Dead' star's father not thrilled about character's death
[WARNING: Spoilers ahead for Sunday night's episode of "The Walking Dead.]
Not everyone is happy with the twist that closed out the midseason finale of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” on Sunday night, including the father of the actor whose character’s death appears to be imminent.
In the episode’s final moments, teen Carl Grimes, played by Chandler Riggs, reveals he has suffered a fatal zombie bite. Soon after the scene aired, Riggs’ father lashed out on social media at AMC and showrunner Scott Gimple.
"Watching Gimple fire my son 2 weeks before his 18th birthday after telling him they wanted him for the next 3 years was disappointing," the father wrote in a now-deleted Facebook post preserved by The Hollywood Reporter. "I never trusted Gimple or AMC, but Chandler did. I know how much it hurt him. But we do absolutely know how lucky we have been to be a part of it all and appreciate all the love from fans all these years!"
Gimple said on AMC’s after-show, “Talking Dead,” that Carl’s story will play out in the eighth season’s ninth episode when it returns in February, but he made pretty clear that the boy will not survive the bite.
In interviews, Chandler Riggs has said he was shocked to learn his character, who has been featured on the show since it premiered, was being killed off, but he understood the reasons it was necessary for the story and is excited by the opportunities it opens up for his career.
“It was devastating because the show has been such a big part of my life,” he told Entertainment Weekly. “I had gone to school and done the show and dedicated so much time and effort into the show that it was crazy that that was going to be the decision.”
Andrew Lincoln, who play’s Carl’s father Rick, was also stunned by the news.
“I never saw it coming because I always thought that the kid would be the future, and that was the whole point of this that I was going to hand over the revolver and let him walk off into the distance, you know?” he told Entertainment Weekly. “So it was incredibly shocking. Everybody was reeling from it and continue to reel from it.”
Riggs strongly hinted at how the current “All-Out War” arc will end and why his death is central to that.
“Carl in his final moments is trying to teach Rick what he can so Rick doesn't make any more of the same mistakes that he has in the past,” he said in a less-spoilery response to the Hollywood Reporter. “Carl has been watching this whole time and learning from Rick and seeing what he's done right and what he's done wrong, and Carl has come out of that as a very wise and old soul. Carl is going to try and give Rick every last bit of advice that he can.”
Carl remains a significant character in the comic book series the show is based upon, and Riggs had anticipated playing out some of the storylines that are ahead in comic continuity. Gimple suggested to Entertainment Weekly that some of those stories will occur in a different form.
“It’s a difficult aspect of it but you still want to tell those stories from the comic, and we will,” he said. “We have seen major stories from characters in the comic go to different characters on the television show. We’re committed to keep telling the story from the comic book.”