1:45pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Walking Dead' Casts Key Comic Book Character for Season 9
[This story contains spoilers from the Walking Dead comic series.]
AMC's The Walking Dead just cast a key comic book character as it charts its future without Rick and Carl Grimes.
Cassady McClincy (Love, Simon) has boarded the zombie drama in the key recurring role of Lydia.
The casting arrives as The Walking Dead is charting a new course without Andrew Lincoln's central Rick Grimes and after the shocking death of his son, Carl (Chandler Riggs), last season. Season nine, the first with new showrunner Angela Kang, will jump forward in time and introduce the Whisperers, a new group of survivors who walk among the dead in skin suits made of human flesh.
The Whisperers are overseen by Alpha, who will be played in season nine by new series regular Samantha Morton. McClincy's Lydia is Alpha's daughter.
In the comics, Lydia is romantically paired with Carl as Rick's band of survivors clashes with the Whisperers with the two teens at the center of the conflict.
How the AMC series will tackle that storyline remains unclear now that Carl — who was wildly considered the future lead of both the show and the comic — is no longer alive in the small-screen take.
For her part, McClincy's credits include guest roles on series including Netflix's Ozark, NBC's Constantine and Hulu's Castle Rock. She is repped by Play Management and Buchwald.
McClincy joins a swelling cast of recurring and series regulars as The Walking Dead charts its future without leading man Lincoln, who will exit the series in season nine. The show is set to return Oct. 7 as Rick leads his group of survivors to rebuild civilization with a number of new faces in tow. Those include Nadia Hilker as Magna; Angel Theory as Kelly and Lauren Ridloff as her sister Connie (who is the first deaf character on the series); Eleanor Matsura as Yumiko; and Dan Fogler as Luke.
Other new faces taking on recurring parts ripped from the comics are Brett Butler as Tammy Rose, described by AMC as a salt-of-the-earth Hilltop resident. (In the comics, she clashes with Carl and Maggie). John Finn will take on the role of Earl, the Hilltop's blacksmith and Tammy's devoted husband. (In the comics, he winds up taking Carl under his wing.) Rhys Coiro will play Jed, a seemingly new character to the franchise who is described as a rebellious Savior who refuses to fall in line. And Zach McGowen will play Justin, a hostile Savior who isn't interested in working together with other communities.
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