The Walking Dead put forth one of its most game-changing years with Season 9, which temporarily took Rick and Maggie out of the equation, and also permanently took a crapload of other characters out of the equation. With the franchise branching out and opening up for spinoffs and the like, though, dead and gone characters could possibly return for new stories. While not everyone might be willing to dive back into the zombie muck, former star Chad Coleman has a great idea for bringing Tyreese back.
When asked if coming back to The Walking Dead would be something of interest, current The Orville star Chad Coleman was quite positive-minded about the concept. (I mean, who wouldn't want to keep playing Tyreese?) Here's what Coleman had to say:
Oh yeah. Definitely. I wrestle with that, because I feel like Tyreese is the type of character that's just like, 'Enough said. Done. Leave it alone. Don't touch it.' Let's just remember that dude up against the door, gazing out that window, and it's a wrap for him. In one respect. But in another, because I love the community down there, and the people involved – they're such great people to work with and do the day-to-day thing with – yeah, I think it would be great to pop in. I'd love to pop in if [it was] Sonequa and I, something before we got to the prison, to see what life was like. If that's possible.
Chad Coleman has a point, of course. If someone were to actually ask the same kind of question to Tyreese himself, he would probably bring that "what's done is done" perspective to it. However, latter-day Tyreese was killed off after being bitten by Noah's zombified brother back in Season 5, so his opinion is understandably moot.
I'd perfectly happy if Chad Coleman got to bring his Tyreese-tethered wishes to life in some way, though. The Walking Dead's general lack of flashback sequences means that many new-ish characters are always forced to layer backstory details in through dialogue, where some visual evidence would be much more enjoyable. Now that AMC is building the franchise out in different ways, it's a lot more feasible to envision new projects that would focus on various characters' lives before they crossed paths with Team Family.
Lots of fans would likely agree that Tyreese's life prior to showing up within The Walking Dead would be perfect for some kind of a limited prequel project. Especially if, as he put it to the host of the Popcorn Talk podcast, he got to pop back into the show alongside fellow former star Sonequa Martin-Green, who played Tyreese's sister Sasha. As fans remember, Sasha ended up taking her own life in Season 7 as a way to sabotage Negan.
Sonequa Martin-Green's exit from The Walking Dead was partly informed by her landing a leading role on CBS All Access' Star Trek: Discovery, though she's spoken favorably of the zombie drama then and since. So, in a perfect world where everyone's schedules were malleable, it's not impossible to believe that Martin-Green could trade her Starfleet uniform for Sasha's more tattered garments. At least in a very limited capacity.
AMC did confirm earlier this year that The Walking Dead will be getting a third full-fledged TV series that'll likely debut in 2020, but its timeline won't be reflective of a point when Tyreese and Sasha might be able to show up for a quick cameo. That second spinoff will be centered on later generations of survivors, focusing on characters who have only ever known a post-apocalyptic existence.
However, that's far from the only plan in the works, so there is still a lot of potential for a project to come along that invites the returns of these beloved former characters, and maybe more. As unlikely as it may be, I'm really hoping for some kind of an anthology series where each standalone episode delves into previously unseen events from familiar characters' lives.
Such a concept could possibly be the easiest way for Chad Coleman and Sonequa Martin-Green to re-enter the Walking Dead-verse in a meaningful way that wouldn't short-change their appearances. An episode dedicating a full 40-50 minutes to Tyreese and Sasha's pre-prison lives would be awesome to watch. I'd love to learn the details about what kind of turmoil and tragedies they experienced in Jacksonville, Florida before traveling north. And if they wanted to go back even further to show a glimpse of Tyreese playing an NFL game, more cool points!
It seems like even Tyreese himself would be interested in a limited prequel chapter like that, since it wouldn't necessarily be as exploitative as it'd be if the character came back to The Walking Dead proper for a dream sequence or hallucination. (Not to take away from all the actors who appeared during Tyreese's hallucinations for his own final episode, but the series is in a different place now.)
For all that he likely wouldn't be able to show up on the flagship Walking Dead series in a logical way, Chad Coleman sounds like he'd really be interested in working again with current showrunner Angela Kang, who was part of the writing staff from Seasons 2-8. Coleman revealed during the same interview that he stopped watching The Walking Dead a few seasons back, whenever Negan showed up and based people's brains in. That said, he's been more interested in how Season 9 handled things. In his words:
So they're getting back to nuanced character stuff with Angela Kang. She was very much a part of, as a writer, what I would call the glory years. Seasons 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. All of that. So she's at the helm, proud of her, so I look forward to a change.
Chad Coleman does have another day job, of course, as he stars as the alien Klyden on Seth MacFarlane's sci-fi adventure The Orville, which recently ended Season 2 and is currently waiting on news about whether Season 3 is happening or not. Hopefully news on that front will come out soon, and hopefully someone within the Walking Dead producer team is considering a project that would embrace the show's long-gone characters in fun ways.
The Walking Dead is currently in the still-early weeks of its summer hiatus, with Season 10 not expected to premiere until October. You can check out everything we know about the season thus far, and after that, fans can look forward to watching Austin Amelio's Dwight joining the rest of the Fear squad at some point in Season 5. The Texas-set prequel will debut its new episodes on AMC on Sunday, June 2.