The big Walking Dead news is of course yesterday's announcement from AMC that there will be a "companion series" featuring an entirely new story and characters. (I guess I can't really fault the network for wanting to squeeze every drop of milk from this particular zombified cash cow, but I'd personally prefer to see new original concepts rather than spinoffs from existing shows.) (That said, I'm eager to see what they come up with for their answer to a second Daryl Dixon type, because you know that's a casting goal.) There's some exciting new info that's relevant to the current show, though: Twilight's Christian Serratos is joining season 4 of The Walking Dead as comic book character Rosita Espinosa.
For fans of the comic, this is an interesting move, because it implies we'll be seeing some additional familiar faces from the books -- and that we can expect some serious drama to unfold at the prison.
Here's what we know about Christian Serratos: she will be a recurring character in the new episodes and reportedly has the option to become a series regular for the fifth season. She plays Rosita, a gorgeous survivor who once resorted to prostituting herself for protection during the apocalypse:
Twenty-twoyear-old Serratos played Bella's friend Angela Weber in the Twilight saga, a role that earned her a "Young Supporting Actress" award at the Young Artist Awards.
In the books we meet Rosita Espinosa along with her traveling companions, Eugene Porter and Sgt. Abraham Ford. Brawny Abraham first clashes with Rick, then eventually goes on to become his right hand man. While the show has never followed in the comics' exact footsteps, Serratos' casting does make me wonder if we can expect Eugene and Abraham to be announced soon. Especially considering ...
(Mild spoilers ahead!)
SpoilerTV claims to have unearthed three casting notices for characters to be introduced in the latter half of the season, sometime in spring 2014. Here's how the roles are described:
Jordana Barraza - Late 20's tough hispanic and beautiful. Shamed about her past.
Wayne Kesey - Early 30's. Very smart and an experienced liar.
John Tyler - Early 30's, vulgar with rough edges but wise.
Names aside, those character descriptions definitely match Rosita, Eugene, and Abraham. The timing of their appearance may mean that in season 4 we'll be seeing Rick and the survivors leave the prison after a series of catastrophic events, and heading towards the next location in the original story: the Alexandria Safe-Zone.
Of course, The Walking Dead team does love to play fast and loose with the story. As showrunner Scott Gimple said,
(Show creator) Robert Kirkman is more about departures from the comics than I have been in the past. His approach is more like, ‘Oh it's all good, we've seen that in the comic. We can mix it up.’ I've been more hardcore about keeping true to the exact story of the comic. Kirkman wound up loosening me up a little more about it, as far playing with different things going in different directions. To tell you the truth, at this point with where the story is, anybody who's a big fan of the comic would see that we have to. It's funny, in some ways the things that divert from the comic this year have actually served being closer to the comic in some way. There's going to be some looping around to the comic and remixing. That's how I essentially look at it: It's a remix of the comic.
There are going to be big moments from the comic that will be seen in a very different context that fans will recognize but aren't that different in the continuity of the book. There are a lot of things that are different at this stage in the story than they were in the comic. The Governor on the TV show is a different character than the Governor of the comic. You will recognize a bunch of those big moments this season, but you will also see that they aren't exactly the same as they panned out in the comic, and you'll know why because of where the story is now. Daryl Dixon is a huge part of the show and he's not in the comic. The stories that happen involve him heavily and he, as a character, changes those stories. That happens in so many ways through our story. What's cool is we can get in those moments, those themes and those dynamics but they happen in different ways, at different times and sometimes between different characters. It's so cool for me, as a fan, when we do it. And it's a way to take something that the comic fans know and present it in a different way and hopefully with a different emotional context but just as powerful as it was in the comic. So you still get something new, but it serves the story that's just been told.
I love this approach -- it's great that as a comics fan, I still have no idea where the show's going to go. The fact that Christian Serratos' character has been confirmed IMPLIES plenty of things, but we can't know anything for certain until we watch.
Are you excited to hear about this new Walking Dead character?