Who could play these Walking Dead comic characters on TV?
James ponders which actors could bring to life a selection of characters from The Walking Dead comics...
Warning: contains plot details for The Walking Dead comics and so potential spoilers for the TV series.
It’s hard to deny the casting directors at The Walking Dead their due. The entire first season cast, while relatively unknown, managed to transform Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard’s monthly black and white paintings to life. Season three brought bigger and better things for the show, including the introduction of fan-favourite characters Michonne and Tyreese. Comparing Danai Gurira and Chad Coleman’s on-screen portrayals with the original artwork that made these characters so loved, shows the skills of AMC’s Sharon Bialy & Sherry Thomas.
The latest season also brought in the introduction of fan-feared character The Governor, albeit in a different form to the comic books. We met The Governor before his decent into madness unlike the more two-dimensional evil villain he represented in the comics. Although a bold choice, David Morrissey made the role his own and took over the character to develop The Governor into a fully fledged, almost understandable psychopath which the comics never attempted to do. With the return of The Walking Dead to our screens in October comes the introduction of Bob Stookey played by Lawrence Gilliard Jr. AMC bosses have announced that they believe the series could last for the foreseeable future so here is a list of the characters we haven’t yet caught a glimpse of, and who could play them.
Sgt Abraham Ford
Sgt Ford joins our group of survivors soon after the fall of the prison, an event expected to happen within season four. Could Rick’s right-hand man be introduced to the show sooner rather than later? It's unlikely, considering we've only just encountered Tyreese, Rick’s first muscle man in the TV universe. Abraham is the hulk of the group who helps keep everyone safe with his sheer power and expertise in shooting. After losing his family in the initial aftermath of the dead walking, Abraham meets Eugene and Rosita before encountering Rick’s group on their return to the farm. It’s likely Abraham will appear, though perhaps in a different way considering some of the fan criticism levelled at the show during season two's farm-based storylines.
Age: Mid to late 40s
Body: Muscled, tall
Dream actor: If we could have it our way, Bane himself, aka Tom Hardy would be perfect for the role but his post-The Dark Knight fame takes him out of the running.
Possible actor: For sheer height and muscle another choice could be Kevin Durand, best known for his role as mercenary Martin Keamy in Lost and a short turn as The Blob in X Men Origins: Wolverine.
Wildcard: Two words. Stone Cold. Imagine if The Walking Dead decided to go for WWE legend Stone Cold Steve Austin... just imagine.
Rosita is one of the more mysterious characters within the comics with not much known about her past even though she’s been with the series for over fifty issues. The little we do know is that Rosita survived the apocalypse by using her looks to gain protection from men until she met Abraham Ford and fell in love. Since Abraham’s death, Rosita has taken a back seat and is thought to be helping Eugene in gearing up on the war against Negan (more about him later). If Rosita is added into the TV series along with Abraham and Eugene we could soon learn more about her and her past which would be necessary to make her substantial, worthwhile character.
Age: Late 20s
Dream actor: Michelle Rodriquez has proven her TV credentials within Lost and has a career surrounded in blockbuster movies such as Avatar, Resident Evil and numerous Fast & Furious films.
Possible actor: Jessica Camacho hasn’t had a career kick yet but plays a recurring character in Last Resort. The Walking Dead would be the career boost she needs and she has the perfect look for Rosita.
Wildcard: How about Maggie Quigley, AKA Maggie Q. AKA Nikita from Nikita. She’s proven her worth with fight scenes but it’s unlikely to happen while she’s still riding the Nikita hit wave.
Father Gabriel Stokes
Gabriel’s character has taken a backseat since recent events within the Alexandria Safe Zone. Introduced in the The Hunters story arc, Gabriel poses the interesting question of how a good, faithful man would react to the rising dead. Teases slowly revealed Gabriel’s past and made his character an fascinating edition to the comics. The TV show could further the character if he was introduced, and went on to cause undesired tension within the primarily atheist group of survivors.
Age: Mid 30s
Dream actor: Morgan Freeman. Impossible we know, but it’d make for some fascinating fight scenes
Possible actor: How about Tim Russ? Best known for his work with Star Trek so he isn’t a stranger to the work of TV.
Wildcard: Jimmy Smits would play the role perfectly even though he doesn’t match Gabriel’s look in the comics.
Although only introduced a few issues ago, the self proclaimed King of the Kingdom has become a major part of The Walking Dead series. Considering the head of the Kingdom is best known for brandishing a tiger named Shiva, his character will become a difficult one to adapt once we hit his story in the TV universe. Ezekiel will soon become a larger part of the comic as the war against The Saviours approaches.
Hair: White dreadlocks
Age: Mid 50s
Body: Wide shoulders, tall
Dream actor: Colin Salmon, most famous for his turn in James Bond during the Brosnan era and the Resident Evil franchise, could easily take over the role if they just lent him a wig.
Possible actor: David Fennoy is no stranger to The Walking Dead. The voice of Lee Everett in the first season of the Telltales game adaptation looks the spitting image of Ezekiel and could easily transform the role for TV.
Wildcard: Andre Braugher is that actor you’ll always recognise but you’re not sure what from. Mainly because he has been in everything from seasons of House to the film adaptation of The Mist.
Negan is the second major antagonist the series has seen, and has stepped the brutality up a notch following on from The Governor. Negan was introduced in issue #100 and was welcomed to the series by brutally murdering a fan favourite. Negan followed that up with various other murders and by exploiting our survivors and their new-found friends. With his terrifying baseball bat covered in barbed wire (affectionately named Lucille) Negan manages to make you wince even through the black and white pages of the books. Negan will make it into the TV series, but let’s hope it’s not rushed and they give us his introduction long after the demise of The Governor.
Age: Early 30s
Body: Huge, like, huge
Dream actor: Vinnie Jones has been making his return to the acting scene recently. If he chooses, the former Wales footballer could take on the role.
Possible actor: Although hooked into Ray Donovan contracts at the moment it could be possible that Liev Schreiber could be available once the time for Negan comes around. Liev came to Hollywood fame in Defiance with Daniel Craig and took over the role of Sabertooth in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
Wildcard: Joe Swanson himself, Patrick Warburton should step outside his comfort zone of sitcoms and comedy and take over the role of manic psychopath Negan.
Who would you like to see join The Walking Dead? Leave your suggestions in the comments below.
The Walking Dead season four premieres on Sunday the 13th of October.
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