In addition to bringing a new showrunner on board and losing some major characters, The Walking Dead is bringing a major villain onto the show, as well. For the AMC series’ upcoming ninth season, Samantha Morton (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Minority Report) will play Alpha, leader of a large survivor group known as the Whisperers, Walking Dead comic book creator and show executive producer Robert Kirkman announced at San Diego Comic-Con on Friday.
Alpha is a big bad from the Walking Dead comic on which the series is based. In the comics, the bald Alpha is close with two members of the Whisperers clan: her lieutenant Beta, and her daughter Lydia. Lydia winds up being a love interest for Carl in the comic, but since Chandler Riggs left from the series in Season 8, it’s probably safe to assume that there may be some changes to Lydia’s storylines. Alpha was also a great foil for Maggie in the comics — but it stands to reason that might change, as well.
The upcoming season of The Walking Dead, which will be helmed by new showrunner Angela Kang, will kick off with a time jump. It will also be the final season to feature Andrew Lincoln as lead protagonist Rick Grimes, who will leave the series after Season 9 ends.
The Walking Dead will return for its ninth season this fall.
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