The second season of the hit AMC series The Walking Dead is a few weeks away from wrapping up and so far, while there has been a surfeit of interpersonal conflicts with an occasional zombie attack for garnish the show has been sorely lacking in a strong central villain. Looks like that’s going to change come season three.
One of the biggest mysteries surrounding the show and its fidelity to the Robert Kirkman comic book series it’s based on is whether or not it would introduce the comic’s most notorious baddie, the one-armed, eyepatch-wearing dictator Brian Blake, better known to fans of The Walking Dead as the Governor.
Following the show’s first season rumors begin to spread that Michael Rooker‘s vicious redneck Merle Dixon would return in a later season as the Governor in a bit of ret-conning from the character’s comic counterpart. Recently another rumor popped up that the show’s producers were pursuing John Hawkes (Winter’s Bone, American Gangster) for the role. Actor, stuntman, and special effects make-up legend Tom Savini even expressed his interest in playing the role, and given his extensive experience creating zombies for George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead.
But today the search is over. The Walking Dead has found its Governor, and he is…. David Morrissey!
The British actor has an extensive background in film and television and is best known for his roles in Hilary and Jackie, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Basic Instinct 2, Centurion, and the Red Riding trilogy. Morrissey won acclaim for his performances in the television movie The Deal and the miniseries State of Play (which was remade into an American film in 2009) and appeared in the 2008 Doctor Who special “The Next Doctor.” He can next be seen in Welcome to the Punch with James McAvoy and Mark Strong.
This is a very interesting casting choice. While I’ve never been a fan of Morrissey he has proven himself to be a strong, multi-faceted actor, which is exactly what a character like the Governor requires. The Walking Dead hasn’t had any problems thus far building a solid acting ensemble so Morrissey should make a nice addition given his background. Right now the show could use a top drawer villain for the main characters to focus on so maybe they’ll stop squabbling for a few blissful minutes. At this point it couldn’t hurt.
The 16-episode third season of The Walking Dead begins production in Atlanta, GA, this spring.