The Walking Dead fans were devastated when Glenn was killed by Negan in the season 7 premiere. He’d come a long way since his lowly origins as a pizza boy and it was tragic to have him die so viciously in front of his pregnant wife and friends. He’s such a popular character that you’d imagine there might be an opportunity for him to return via a flashback or vision of some kind in the future. But, according to Steven Yeun, that’s never going to happen.
While speaking to Indie Wire, Yeun said that people often come up to him and ask him if he’d like to play Glenn again. He admits, though, that this is definitely not something he’d be interested in, as he’s put his time on The Walking Dead behind him and has moved on to new pastures.
“Sometimes people pitch to me, ‘Dude, wouldn’t it be so cool if you did a Glenn origin movie?’ And I’m like, ‘No, that’d be horrible.’ That was so long ago. I was another person. I don’t think I could go back there. That person was inherently trapped in whatever people thought he was. I fed into it and I believed in it, too — until I got out.”
Yeun then elaborated on his complicated feelings about his time on TWD by revealing that he had an “existential crisis” when he left the show, as it marked a major shift in his professional and personal life. After all, he’d just become a father.
“I left Walking Dead and I kind of had an existential crisis — not because I longed to be back there, but because I was made to feel the loneliness of life, which is that decisions aren’t made for you.”
As for why he exited the series when he did, Yeun explained that it felt like the right time for him to move on and for the character to meet his end – his death closely mirrored Glenn’s demise in the comics, too.
“Everyone felt it. I wasn’t pining to be off the show. It was just the story, and you service the story. Also, there’s something very beautiful about the end, turning the page and closing the book.”
The actor might have put his time on TWD behind him, but he’s still got time to praise his old friends. As part of EW’s tribute to Andrew Lincoln’s tenure on the show, which comes to end in the first half of season 9, Yeun penned an open letter to his former co-star in which he spoke about Lincoln’s “class, humor, and talent.”
Though Glenn won’t be returning anytime soon, another old face from TWD‘s past definitely will in season 9. As you surely know by now, Jon Bernthal’s reprising his role as Shane, last seen in season 2. Details are scarce on the nature of his comeback, but we’d guess that it’ll be tied in with the death of Rick Grimes, so as to bring his story full circle.
Be sure to catch The Walking Dead season 9 when it premieres on AMC this Sunday.