At the recent press junket for Marvel's upcoming [Guardians of the Galaxy](movie:424073), I had the chance to sit down with Michael Rooker, who plays good-bad guy Yondu. Naturally, I just had to ask him about playing Merle Dixon in [The Walking Dead](series:201193), and if he ever might reappear on the show in a flashback or as Daryl's conscience again.
Considering the way in which he went out ("They killed me two times in one episode! They really didn't want me back."), I was surprised when he left the door open to that possibility. Wide-open, as a matter of fact:
I don’t think they’re going to do that kind of thing, because you know, Rick was seeing his dead wife that whole time so they played that out really well. If he had not done that, then it would have really been a good set up to have Daryl deal with Merle in a more spiritual, supernatural way like that. But because Rick had that whole line with that I don’t think that they are going to venture into that any more.
And then he paused and thought about it for a second.
But you know what? You never know about The Walking Dead. I’ll just leave it out there. You just don’t know what AMC is going to do, you have no idea what these crazy idiot writers are going to come up with next.
Oh man, don't do that to fans, Rooker. But it's interesting, right? Usually, when a character in a movie franchise or a television series is done, they're done, and they'll make that clear. But Rooker gave me the sense that his story might not be entirely finished when he said "I'll just leave it out there." Granted, we were joking around the whole time and he could very well just have been teasing, but he's right: It wouldn't be out of the question for Merle to pop as baby bro Daryl's conscience again, especially considering Daryl is facing some brand-new challenges as he grows into being a true leader.
[Guardians of the Galaxy](movie:424073) is in theaters on August 1st.