The Walking Dead’s Khary Payton has revealed his disappointment over the direction his character, King Ezekiel, has taken in the series. “No, I’m not satisfied at all,” Payton admitted during an interview with Insider. “I wish that — there are so many places and situations that I would’ve loved to explore. But that’s one of the things that happens when you have a show that has this many dynamic and interesting characters. 48 minutes or, sometimes, over an hour-long episode just isn’t enough.
”These characters are beautifully constructed. I think the strength of the show is that these characters are nuanced, interesting, and there’s so many of them that you just can’t get it all in,” Payton added. The 50-year-old actor, who joined The Walking Dead in 2016, said he was “very sorry to say goodbye to Ezekiel.”
“I cross my fingers and hope that maybe sometime down the road, we could tell the story of how Ezekiel came to be a king or something,” he continued. As for his future in The Walking Dead and a wealth of spin-offs set to launch after the parent series ends, Payton remains optimistic about new opportunities. “Yeah. There’s a chance. AMC+, there’s a place to land there. If something like that happens, I would be excited to explore it. We’ll just have to wait and see.”
Payton has played an instrumental role in the series since his arrival. As the leader of the Kingdom, Ezekiel joined the collective communities of Alexandria’s Safe-Zone and Hilltop in a war against the Saviors. His most notable storylines include the death of his pet tiger, Shiva, his adopted son Henry at the hands of the Whisperers in Season 9, and his rocky marriage with Carol. He later received treatment for thyroid cancer at the Commonwealth in Season 11.
The final episodes of The Walking Dead Season 11 will air weekly and complete the trilogy. For more The Walking Dead content, check out last week’s review of “What’s Been Lost.”