The Walking Dead aired its final episode in November 2022, concluding the 12-year run of the series. The majority of the fandom was pleasantly surprised with how things wrapped up, and many were overjoyed at seeing Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and Michonne Danai Gurira) again. But the ending viewers saw wasn’t the only possible ending. Another scene was filmed, and it would have been a great one.
Cinematographer Duane Charles Manwiller is very generous in sharing his behind-the-scenes photos and tidbits with fans of TWD. His Instagram is worthy of a follow for all the content he has continued to share. Be sure to scroll back into his early posts from previous TWD seasons; you will be in awe.
He recently shared a photo that disappointed many fans as a filmed scene wasn’t used in the finale. The picture (below) features an image of a group of five people filmed for an alternate ending.
The Walking Dead finale alternate ending
The photo shows a significant time jump, so the actors don’t look familiar, but the characters most assuredly are. This photo shows RJ (Roland Buck III), Ezra (Seoum Tylor Aun), Coco (Sahara Ale), Gracie (Tess Cline), and Judith (Britt Baron) in a flashforward scene. While this would have been a fun addition, it doesn’t make much sense to introduce characters that aren’t going to be featured in a later story.
Even though the scene was cut, it was interesting to see that in TWDU, the future generation of our survivors have indeed survived and have stayed together all this time.
According to Insider, this is how the scene would have played out:
"After Daryl rode off, we cut forward to the Freedom Parkway, outside Atlanta — where the iconic shot of Rick rode down from the pilot. See an ethanol-modified van, with a young woman and man in the front seats (in their twenties). And through the scene, we come to 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. Continuing the legacy of their parents. As RJ speaks over the radio, he finishes with: “If you can hear me, answer back. This is Rick Grimes.” (Which, of course, is his name — and the line Rick said in the pilot.) Then we end with the voice of a survivor answering back: “…Hello?”"
This could have been a fantastic scene, but I am satisfied with the ending we got. It seems only fitting that the series begins and ends with Rick. I am very pleased that the information regarding this scene was made public. Maybe a future spinoff will feature the young adult version we see pictured. That would make for an exciting series.