'The Walking Dead' casts Andrew Lincoln

10:08 AM PST 04/06/2010 by James Hibberd, AP

AMC series led by small-town cop in zombie apocalypse

AMC has cast Andrew Lincoln as the lead in its zombie apocalypse thriller "The Walking Dead."

Lincoln ("Teachers," "Enduring Love") will play Rick Grimes, a small-town cop who leads a group of survivors in their struggle against a world besieged by zombies.

As previously announced, Jon Bernthal ("The Pacific") will play Shane, a survivor who was Rick's police partner before the zombie disaster.

"Andrew Lincoln, wow -- what an amazing find this guy is," said Robert Kirkman, who wrote the comic book series upon which the series is based. "Writing Rick Grimes month after month in the comic series, I had no idea he was an actual living breathing human being, and yet here he is. I couldn't be more thrilled with how this show is coming together."

"Walking Dead" starts shooting in June in Atlanta, with Frank Darabont as writer, director and executive producer.
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