While the cast and crew of AMC‘s The Walking Dead roll along with their deep-dive production-wise on the tenth season, life in the franchise’s universe has become a lot like the NFL: neither have off-seasons anymore. With a strong ensemble cast (and a “Big Bad” fronted by Samantha Morton in an award-earning turn as Whisperers leader Alpha) and richly layered writing, showrunner/executive producer Angela Kang did the near-impossible: made the show feel fresh and dangerous again.
Of all the news that’s come out about the upcoming season over the past few months (and there’s been a ton, but more on that later), this week’s not-surprising casting announcement still ranks as one of our personal favorites. Cailey Fleming (Judith), Cassady McClincy (Lydia), Cooper Andrews (Jerry), Nadia Hilker (Magna), Eleanor Matsuura (Yumiko), Lauren Ridloff (Connie), and Ryan Hurst (Beta) have all been promoted to series regulars – all well-deserved bump-ups in series status.
Now we’ve made no bones about the fact that Fleming’s Judith is one of the best additions to the cast in seasons – even more impressive when you consider how strong of a track record the show has in developing characters, so that’s high praise. Don’t get us started on how she’s the best “Grimes kid” – that’s not a debate you want.
Which is why we found the following clip of Fleming introducing viewers to The Grimes Family via Funk POP! vinyl figures more than just a throw-away promo: we couldn’t help but hear it in Judith’s voice – and that, folks? That’s a heartbreaker…
Leading up to Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) in July, – we learned that comic book’s Dante (played by Snowfall star Juan Javier Cardenas) will transition to the small screen; efforts are underway to bring Lauren Cohan (Maggie) back; big themes for this season will be propaganda, paranoia, and PTSD; Michonne’s (Danai Gurira) in a “hot” situation in the season’s first official image; Negan’s (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) possible future; Eugene’s (McDermitt) connection to that mysterious voice on the radio at the end of last season; and that Lincoln will not direct an episode this season.
Post-SDCC, there were a ton of teases and news (and a sad announcement, which you can check out here) – including the start of a series of weekly reveals that began with a first look at American Beauty star Thora Birch in the role of Gamma, a Whisperer who is fiercely protective of Alpha. Then, AMC and Skybound offered a look at the second addition to the cast: Kevin Carroll‘s Virgil – highly intelligent, resourceful, and desperately trying to get home to his family. This season will also see Sydney Park return as Oceanside’s Cyndie, and new cast member Alex Sgambati‘s Jules (possibly) a part of her community.
Here’s our first official trailer for the upcoming tenth season as well as an overview of what we can expect when the series returns. As the war between our heroes and The Whisperers escalates, both sides must deal with issues of trust and fear from within…
The Walking Dead is a story that started 10 years ago with one man trying to find his family. That family grew and gradually communities took shape. They fought and survived, thrived and gave birth to a new generation. It is a tale of humankind and there are more stories to tell.
It is now Spring, a few months after the end of Season 9, when our group of survivors dared to cross into Whisperer territory during the harsh winter. The collected communities are still dealing with the after effects of Alpha’s horrific display of power, reluctantly respecting the new borderlines being imposed on them, all while organizing themselves into a militia-style fighting force, preparing for a battle that may be unavoidable.
But the Whisperers are a threat unlike any they have ever faced. Backed by a massive horde of the dead it is seemingly a fight they cannot win. The question of what to do and the fear it breeds will infect the communities and give rise to paranoia, propaganda, secret agendas, and infighting that will test them as individuals and as a society. The very idea of whether civilization can survive in a world filled with the dead hangs in the balance.
AMC’s The Walking Dead returns for its tenth season on Sunday, October 6th.