If The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman had the shocking season one finale to do all over again, Noah Emmerich‘s Edwin Jenner — the Center for Disease Control doc — could still be alive in the zombie drama.
The comics creator and exec producer on AMC’s adaptation previously told THR that, in retrospect, he “wouldn’t have done the CDC episode” that featured Jenner’s big reveal to Rick (Andrew Lincoln) that everyone is infected. (The season one finale also marked the end of the road for Jenner, who opted to go up in flames with the CDC.)
Knowing Kirkman’s regrets — and that AMC’s Walking Dead companion is a prequel set in Los Angeles at the onset of the zombie apocalypse, The Hollywood Reporter turned to Emmerich to see if The Americans star would have any interest in reprising his role as Jenner. Sources tell THR that the two worlds are very much linked together.
“Sure, I think he’s a fascinating character,” Emmerich told THR at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour where he was supporting the FX drama. “There’s definitely a lot more to find out about Dr. Jenner. I have no idea, I haven’t talked with them about anything. I don’t know [if he could come back]. I have no idea, but it’s an interesting question.”
Season one also introduced Jenner’s wife, Dr. Candace Jenner — aka Test Subject 19 — played by Claire Bronson. She was described as a genius in her field and the head researcher at the CDC, where she worked with her husband. After the outbreak, she died of the fever that came with the infection and turned into a walker after two hours, when Emmerich’s Edwin was forced to shoot her in the head.
“There’s a lot more there for that character,” Emmerich said when asked if he’d be open to going back and doing it all over again. “He was a fascinating character and we only got a little taste of him. It would be really interesting to see what more was there. It’s really intriguing.”
Kirkman is co-writing the Walking Dead prequel (code named Cobalt) with Sons of Anarchy‘s Dave Erickson. They exec produce alongside Gale Anne Hurd and Dave Alpert. Erickson is set as showrunner, with Adam Davidson directing the pilot. Cliff Curtis (Gang Related) stars as Sean Cabrera, a teacher who shares a son with his ex-wife, Andrea (Sons of Anarchy‘s Kim Dickens). The character is described as a good man trying to do right by everyone in his life.
Frank Dillane (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince) co-stars as Nancy’s son Nick, who has battled a drug problem; and Alycia Debnam Carey (Into the Woods) is set as Nancy’s ambitious daughter Ashley, who is the polar opposite of Nick and has dreams of leaving L.A. for Berkeley when the apocalypse strikes.
AMC has declined comment about the location, premise and character descriptions. The cable network has only confirmed that the Walking Dead companion has received a pilot green light.