Dwight actor Austin Amelio is ready for his Walking Dead timeout to end.
The star’s Savior-turned-mole was exiled by Daryl (Norman Reedus) by threat of death after helping Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and company overthrow Negan (Jeffrey Dean).
That move came as a surprising departure from the trajectory taken in Robert Kirkman’s comic book series, which saw the disfigured bowman became the self-appointed leader of the newly-allied Saviors and the Sanctuary in the wake of Negan’s defeat.
“I really like that. I’m f—king ready, man,” Amelio said in response to Dwight assuming control of the Sanctuary during a Q&A panel appearance at Salt Lake City’s FanX convention over the weekend. “I’ve gone through the ringer, so I think that would be a nice cherry on top. Yeah, I really like that. It’d be fun.”
18 months of relative peacetime later, Grimes’ Alexandria belongs to a network of communities — including the Kingdom, under the leadership of King Ezekiel (Khary Payton), and the Hilltop, newly built up into a formidable force by Maggie Rhee (Lauren Cohan) — a network that has integrated the Sanctuary.
Former Savior loyalists Laura (Lindsley Register) and Arat (Elizabeth Ludlow) are now among the Sanctuary denizens making nice with Rick, whose stewardship of the new world means ensuring the Sanctuary has what it needs for the sizable community to get back on its feet.
Dwight, meanwhile, is on a one-man mission to track down and reunite with missing wife Sherry (Christine Evangelista), who penned a left-behind note discovered by Dwight in the closing moments of the Season Eight finale — leaving the character in limbo but with a sense of hope.
“She’s out there, right? She’s out there somewhere. Definitely gives him a little more juice,” Amelio told ComicBook.com in April.
In addition to making peace with Sherry, Dwight still needs “to get stuff done in order to feel whole again.”
“One of those is finding Sherry. The other stuff, I think some of the other things he wants to concentrate on, is putting some good back in the world, too. Whatever that means,” Amelio said. “I don’t know. No one tells me sh-t. I think there is more than just the Sherry road but I think that is definitely really important to his storyline.”
Dwight’s open-ended storyline also means unresolved issues with a now-jailed Negan, a punishment unbefitting of Negan’s many crimes.
“For him, I think it’s like his mission is sort of incomplete. I think he would really like to see Negan die,” Amelio explained.
“I think with everything, he would like to see that dude go. That guy just tortures him, mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually. He wants that guy gone. To see him alive is just another reminder of the world is not okay.”
The Walking Dead Season Nine debuts Sunday, October 7 on AMC.