The Walking Dead star Norman Reedus who plays fan-favorite Daryl Dixon reveals how he would want his character to reunite with Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln). It’s been a few years since TWD fans have seen Rick since blowing up a bridge along with himself to stop a zombie horde from crossing and all Daryl can do was watch. Daryl and the rest of the survivors have no idea that Rick survived the explosion and was rescued by Anne (Pollyanna McIntosh) and both boarded a Civic Republic Military helicopter.

Daryl continued to search for Rick’s body for the next six years during the time jump in the zombie show. Norman Reedus doesn’t know if and when Rick and Daryl would ever reunite in The Walking Dead Universe, but he revealed what how he wants the reunion to happen.

“I think what would happen… I’d run into Rick by accident, he would smile, I would smile, I’d probably have a little tear flowing, and then I’d punch him in the face,” Reedus revealed during Sunday’s Walking Dead Season 11 Preview Special. (When Talking Dead host Chris Hardwick asked whether showrunner Angela Kang could say if Rick returns in the final season of The Walking Dead, Kang answered with a laugh: “Nope.”)

Reedus credited Rick for opening up Daryl, who once had a troubled past along with his brother Merle Dixon (Michael Rooker). Rick often referred to Daryl as his brother. Daryl even told Leah (Lynn Collins) he lost his brother when they exchanged tragic backstories in the The Walking Dead season 10 episode “Find Me.”

“I think Rick was what broke Daryl out of his emotional jail. He really let Daryl in as a brother,” Reedus said. “I think the brother thing really hit, especially after Merle. But with Rick’s explosion on the bridge, I think that really let him know that life is short and you never know who’s gonna go, when you’re gonna go. I think that, with a lot of Carol nudging, kind of broke him free a little bit. He’s still kind of closed off.”

Comicbook.com asked Reedus about a Daryl and Rick reunion during San Diego Comic-Con weekend, he said, “I want a Rick and Daryl reunion. I don’t want it to be for nothing. I don’t want it to be cheap. I want it to be a real thing.”

The Walking Dead Universe creators have said that the current plan is for Rick to return only in theaters in the untitled Walking Dead movie from Robert Kirkman and TWD Universe executive producer Scott Gimple. Back in July, Reedus told Comicbook.com the movie is “kind of still up in the air what the movie thing is going to be. I think it’s…changed perspective a couple of times. I don’t know anything about it. I’m just going to leave it at that.”

When Andrew Lincoln was asked about a return to The Walking Dead Final Season, he said he would “never say never to that.”

Catch Norman Reedus in the Final Season of The Walking Dead on August 22nd on AMC. The premiere episode “Acheron: Part 1” is now streaming on AMC+.

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