Walking Dead Vet Michael Rooker Shares Blunt Thoughts About Possibly Returning As Merle Dixon

The Walking Dead Merle Dixon Michael Rooker AMC
(Image credit: Gene Page / AMC)

Michael Rooker debuted on The Walking Dead early in Season 1 and turned up alive after a long absence in Season 3, playing the role of Merle Dixon – Daryl Dixon’s older brother. The veteran actor has remained busy since his time on The Walking Dead ended. Rooker has had roles in movies and television. So, what about returning to TWD as Merle? Rooker has shared some blunt thoughts on the possibility.

It has been seven years since Michael Rooker’s run as Merle Dixon came to a close on The Walking Dead. His last episode was 2013’s “This Sorrowful Life,” and the way Merle’s story concluded seemed to leave the door closed on the possibility of him returning later. The Walking Dead has a lot of spinoffs and prequels, though, which makes Rooker reprising Merle a viable consideration. Would he? Rooker told ComicBook.com:

Actually, I'm not interested in doing a one off, you know? I wouldn't be interested in that. I'm being honest, I would not.

A brief return is out of the question for Michael Rooker. What about a longer one, like Rick’s movie? The Walking Dead star seems pretty set on not returning, although he shot it down in terms of being a one-off. Who could blame him for that response? A short-lived exploration would not be a lot for Rooker to dig into compared to something longer and more complex.

Michael Rooker went on to explain that a lot of his resistance to returning as Merle has to do with the sendoff he got, which is interesting considering that Rooker has previously lamented AMC’s tight grip on their wallet, suggesting that money was a motive in killing him off The Walking Dead in Season 3. Delving deeper into his reasoning, Rooker said:

I think Merle had a great send off as well as comparing Merle sendoff with Yondu sendoff. They both had really amazing, I don't know what we could have done to make it even more, to make it better, you know? And so I'm the kind of actor that sort of, unless it's obvious that the characters gonna move on, I'm not interested in revisiting, you know? I like to move on with my career. I like to move on with my work and I like to do different things.

Michael Rooker is ready to move on, particularly as Merle got the ending that he needed before dying on the show. Merle tried to grow as a person. Interestingly, Rooker brought up his Guardians of the Galaxy character when breaking down his thoughts on the matter. Rooker was pretty open about his willingness to somehow reprise his role as Yondu, whose fate seemed as definitive as Merle’s.

Yondu also took a shot at redemption. At least Michael Rooker has shared his favorite scenes from his time as Merle Dixon, so that is something. Just do not hold your breath for Rooker to reprise his role in a one-off capacity. Meanwhile, Merle’s brother Daryl will be getting his own spinoff following the announcement that The Walking Dead will be ending in 2022.

For fans looking for more of Michael Rooker, he joined the cast of Amazon’s much-anticipated Dark Tower series. It is not more Merle, and yet it is something to look forward to seeing. You can watch The Walking Dead when it returns in 2021. Until then, you can watch this fall’s premieres.

Britt Lawrence

Like a contented Hallmark movie character, Britt happily lives in the same city she grew up in. Along with movies and television, she is passionate about competitive figure skating. She has been writing about entertainment for 5 years, and as you may suspect, still finds it as entertaining to do as when she began.