9:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
First Look: 'Walking Dead' Books 'Straight Outta Compton' Star as Key Comic Character (Exclusive)
AMC's The Walking Dead has cast Corey Hawkins, the star of NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton, to play a key comic book character, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
In the exclusive first look above, Hawkins — who will recur — makes his debut as Heath, a key member of the Alexandria Safe Zone. The character, an eventual Alexandria supply runner, friend to Glenn and love interest to Denise, is first introduced in issue 69 of Robert Kirkman's comic series.
Hawkins becomes the first confirmed casting addition for season six of the zombie drama. The series left off when Morgan (Lennie James) made his way to Alexandria just on time to see friend Rick (Andrew Lincoln) execute Pete (Corey Brill) after the latter accidentally killed Alexandria leader Deanna's (Tovah Feldshuh) husband Reg (Steve Coulter).
Hawkins is the latest comic-to-TV character to join the series. He joins recent additions Alexandra Breckenridge (Jessie), Ross Marquand (Aaron) and Seth Gilliam (Father Gabriel), among others, as the deadly series continues to replenish its ranks.
The introduction of Heath comes after the AMC drama finally arrived at Alexandria at the end of season five. The community marks the longest-running home for Rick and the survivors in the comic series. The Walking Dead returns in October; a specific premiere date will likely be announced at San Diego Comic-Con.
For Hawkins' part, the role comes as he's poised to star as Dr. Dre in Straight Outta Compton, due in theaters Aug. 14. He's repped by ICM and Authentic.