HBO's crime drama The Wire received almost unanimous praise from critics and won multiple awards throughout its five-season run (despite being notoriously snubbed by the Emmys), thanks in large part to its excellent ensemble cast. While alums like Idris Elba and Michael B. Jordan are currently enjoying a steady climb in their careers, AMC's The Walking Dead has also looked to The Wire's large cast as a source for acting talent.
The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman is a big fan of The Wire and has reportedly expressed a desire to get as many actors from that show into AMC's adaptation of his comics. Already The Wire stars Chad Coleman and Lawrence Gilliard Jr. have become series regulars as Tyreese and Bob, respectively, and now Kirkman's wish has been fulfilled once again as another actor from The Wire is set to join The Walking Dead in season 5.
Seth Gilliam is currently best known for his recurring role as Dr. Deaton (veterinarian by day, druid emissary by night) on MTV's Teen Wolf, but prior to that he was a series regular throughout all seasons of The Wire as police sergeant/lieutenant Ellis Carver. THR reports that Gilliam has now joined The Walking Dead as a series regular in season 5.
The casting breakdown for Gilliam's character names him as "Michael Todd," but if you don't remember that character from the comics then don't worry: it's a dummy name. His character description is fairly vague but might offer a few more clues, describing "Michael" as having a friendly, puckish humor coupled with a haunted side that results from a dark secret in his past. Right now the best odds point to Gilliam playing Gabriel Stokes, a preacher from the comics who crosses Rick's path at roughly the same point in the storyline that the show has now reached.
Gilliam is the only new cast member to join The Walking Dead season 5 so far, but Andrew J. West , Alanna Masterson and Christian Serratos were all promoted to series regulars in March. West plays Terminus leader Gareth, Alanna Masterson plays Tara and Christian Serratos plays Rosita. Of course, season regulars are scarcely any more safe from a swift death than the show's guest stars.
Do you think that Gilliam is perfect casting for Gabriel, or is there another character from the comic books he could be playing? Tell us your thoughts on this latest casting news in the comments.
The Walking Dead returns to AMC in October.