Thomas Jane as Rick Grimes? It might have happened if “The Walking Dead” creator Frank Darabont had had his way.
At a special Q&A following a Hero Complex Film Festival screening of “The Mist,” Darabont, addressing a question from an audience member, spoke briefly about the thematic similarities between two pairs of projects on his resume — the Stephen King adaptations “The Shawshank Redemption” and “The Green Mile,” and his 2007 horror film, which follows a group of people trapped in a shopping market after a mist envelopes their town and charts their personal devolution as they face terrible, heartbreaking choices, and the hit AMC zombie series he launched in 2010.
He also pointed out that he initially had wanted the star of “The Mist,” actor Thomas Jane, to play lawman Rick Grimes, the part that eventually went to actor Andrew Lincoln.
Jane, who was seated beside Darabont onstage as he made his remarks, was working on the HBO comedy “Hung” and was unavailable.
“I thought Tom would be awesome for that,” Darabont said.
“I’d still have a job, too,” Jane quipped.
Darabont, though, went on to praise Lincoln’s portrayal. (Check out what he said in the video above.) He also talked about reteaming with actors on different projects — three actors from “The Mist” – Laurie Holden, Jeffrey DeMunn and Melissa McBride — became series regulars on “The Walking Dead,” which Darabont developed for TV from the Robert Kirkman comics series.
DeMunn also is slated to appear in Darabont’s upcoming TV show, “Lost Angels,” which will star Jon Bernthal, who played Shane on “The Walking Dead,” and Alexa Davalos, who appeared in “The Mist.”
Hosted by Hero Complex editor Gina McIntyre at the Chinese 6 Theatres in Hollywood, the matinee screening of “The Mist” started Day 2 of the Hero Complex Film Festival. The event kicked off Friday night with a John Carpenter double feature and discussion, while Saturday night’s program brought a Guillermo del Toro double feature of “The Devil’s Backbone” and the Oscar-winning “Pan’s Labyrinth,” exclusive new footage of his “Pacific Rim” and an onstage conversation with the busy director.
Sunday afternoon featured a screening of “Independence Day” and conversation with director Roland Emmerich, producer Dean Devlin, star Jeff Goldbum and effects wizard Volker Engel. That was followed in the evening by a 20th anniversary tribute to “The X-Files” with creator Chris Carter and two of the series’ writers, Glen Morgan and Darin Morgan, and showings of three fan-picked episodes.
— Blake Hennon and Gina McIntyre
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