Frank Darabont, the original showrunner who was unceremoniously ousted during production of Season 2, said he wanted one of the stars of his film The Mist to play Rick — Thomas Jane. But Tom was unavailable, since he was working on the now defunct HBO show Hung.
“I thought Tom would be awesome for that,” Frank said at a Q&A after a Hero Complex Film Festival screening of The Mist. “I’d still have a job, too,” Tom joked. But Frank was ultimately thrilled to have Andy in the role. "Tom was the natural choice for that and when he became unavailable I went 'Oh, I'm doomed, I'm screwed! I'll never find anybody who's good for this part,'" Frank continued. "And then of course Andy Lincoln came in and read for it and he's brilliant and perfect and I love and adore him."
If you watch The Mist, you'll see a lot of familiar TWD faces — including Laurie Holden (Andrea), Jeffrey DeMunn (Dale), and Melissa McBride (Carol). Tom probably would've done a fine job, but we're glad Andy was cast. Funny that the guy from Love Actually actually ended up a perfect fit for a zombie apocalypse show! It was fate.