As the October 13th premiere date for the fourth season of Robert Kirkman and AMC‘s The Walking Dead shambles ever closer, we’re getting the last marketing push with looks at the new series poster (Above) and a look at one of the new cast members joining our band of survivors in the prison.
In the highly anticipated new season, we find Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and the group fostering a thriving community in the safe haven of the prison. Sadly, in this brutal world, happiness is short-lived and walkers and outside threats are no match for danger brewing inside the fences. The group’s home and new way of life will be thoroughly tested, and their struggle to survive has never been so perilous. Season 4 also introduces several new characters including Bob Stookey (Lawrence Gilliard Jr., “The Wire”).
You might recognize Lawrence Gilliard Jr. if you’re a fan of The Wire, he’s the second actor from the Wire to join the cast of The Walking Dead, recently deceased Tyreese, played by Chad Coleman was the first, so the producers must have a “One Wire Actor at One Time” rule in effect. Why mention this? Gillard Jr. told his casting story and The Wire was a consideration on casting directors minds.
“I’ve got to tell you the story. Scott [Gimple] told me. He’s like, ‘You know, we’ve got Chad on the show, so I said, ‘No more Wire people. We’ve got enough of The Wire, because you see too many Wire people on the show and you start thinking of The Wire.’’ So he’s like, ‘No more Wire people, and then I saw your tape, and I said, ‘Oh, okay.’’ [Casting directors] Sharon Bialy and Sherry Thomas, I have to thank them because he says, ‘No Wire people,’ and they brought me in. I remember the audition. I showed up, and apparently I was the first one to read, and it was three pages of a character they made up because they didn’t want anyone to know it was going to be Bob Stookey. Very hush-hush. It was like three pages of just this guy talking. And I went in and I did it, and they were kind of just quiet when I was done. They were like, ‘You know, that was really good.’ I walked out, and I saw another guy sitting there, a white guy, older guy.”
The production continues to shake up the story and characters from the pages of the comic to the small screen. Gillard Jr’s character, former Army medic Bob Stookey, appeared in the original comic, but the character was an older, white man.
What does season four have in store for The Walking Dead fans? Robert Kirkman recently talked about the fourth season with THR, saying:
Anyone who has read the comics knows they don’t stay in prison forever. The circumstances that could occur that would lead them from prison remain a mystery, but they could be in the prison for the next two or three seasons or leave the prison in the very first episode of this season. It’s all up in the air, and that’s the way we prefer it.
Take a video tour with Robert Kirkman in the video below. He’ll take you around the set for season four and show you some of the more interesting new features.