The Walking Dead has officially announced the casting of two characters from the comics ahead of season 9. The conclusion to the 'All Out War' story saw Rick Grimes finally put an end to Negan's reign of terror but instead of taking the Saviors' leader down for good, Rick opted to lock him in a cell and force his nemesis to watch on as the allied communities built a new, better world. Naturally, this 'new world' will mean a host of new faces in The Walking Dead season 9 and many of the major names, such as Magna and Yumiko, have already been announced.
There have been fewer additions over at the Hilltop, however, with several notable characters nowhere to be seen until now. In the comic books for example, Earl is a central figure among Maggie's followers. As a blacksmith, Earl is essential in keeping the network of communities a force to be reckoned with, but his biggest contribution to the story comes when he takes on Carl Grimes as an apprentice, mentoring the youngster while he's away from his father, Rick. The Rose family also play an important role in the Hilltop's post-time skip story when their son Brandon attacks Sophia along with a group of his cronies. Carl steps in and leaves Brandon a bloody mess which leads to his irate parents, Tammy and Morton, beginning a furious campaign against Maggie for allowing such a thing to happen.
The Walking Dead has now officially announced via the Skybound Entertainment website that season 9 will see Earl played by John Finn and Tammy by Brett Butler. A storied actor on both the big and small screen, Finn is perhaps best known for his role in police procedural series Cold Case, while Butler will be familiar to some from starring in 90s sitcom Grace Under Fire. Interestingly, the statement claims that Tammy and Earl will be married in the TV series.
In terms of physical appearance, neither actor bears much of a resemblance to the comic version of their character but this has been typical of The Walking Dead's casting in recent seasons and many such characters have flourished regardless. Earl's casting would seem to suggest that season 9 of The Walking Dead will see characters routinely equipped with swords, suggesting there will be some brilliantly gory zombie-killing sequences next season. The introduction of Tammy, meanwhile, indicates that the story in which Brandon takes a beating and Maggie's leadership is questioned will play out on screen at some point this season, since this is Tammy's main contribution to the comic series.
It's interesting that both Earl and Tammy have been cast in The Walking Dead season 9 despite the absence of Carl Grimes, who was ruthlessly killed off last season. In the comic books, both characters' arcs center almost entirely around Rick's son and it's not immediately obvious what impact they can have without the youngster involved. It was previously stated that The Walking Dead would play out Carl's comic story lines with other characters, so perhaps the likes of Enid or an older Henry will fill his part in these particular plots.
The Walking Dead season 9 will premiere October 7th on AMC.
Source: Skybound Entertainment