[Update: We’ve added a second production image to the lineup]

From the moment it was announced that Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption, The Mist) was partnering with AMC to adapt The Walking Dead comic book into a television series, I knew that the odds were good we were in for some quality work. Darabont is a talented writer/producer/director and AMC is currently running two of the best shows on television- Mad Men and Breaking Bad.

Today, we’re getting even more good news. Michael Rooker (Jumper) has joined an already impressive cast that includes Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Jeffrey DeMunn, Sarah Wayne Callies, and Laurie Holden.

The news comes through Shock Till You Dropwho pointed to an announcement on Rooker’s Twitter account.

“On my way to Atlanta soon to work with my new best friend Frank Darabont on The Walking Dead.”

The 55-year-old Rooker has had memorable roles as the title character in Henry: Portait of a Serial Killer, the disapproving father in Mallrats, and one of Wyatt Earp’s allies in Tombstone.

Like its acclaimed comic book counterpart, The Walking Dead series follows a group of people trying to survive in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse. While there’s no indication which character Rooker might be playing, some have speculated it might be Jim – the stoic mechanic haunted by the death of his family. Depending on how far the narrative moves forward in its first season, I think Rooker would also be a solid choice for Hershel – the farmer and veterinarian who offers the main characters temporary refuge.

Earlier this month we got a look at some behind the scenes prosthetic work from The Walking Dead. Now, thanks to Coming Soon, we’ve got the first official production photo showing one of the undead characters in action and actor Rick Grimes Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes.

The behind the scenes images were already pretty awesome, but seeing one of the zombies in context is even more impressive. While it’s hard to take away too much from one photo, this is amazing work and it seems like they’re going to great lengths to preserve the tone of the comic.

What do you think of the photo? Is Michael Rooker a welcome addition to the cast of The Walking Dead? Which character do you think he’s playing?

Source: Coming Soon and Shock Till You Drop.

Update Source: Coming Soon