The Walking Dead showrunner Angela Kang is looking forward to building out newcomers Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura), Magna (Nadia Hilker), Luke (Dan Fogler), and sisters Kelly (Angel Theory) and Connie (Lauren Ridloff) in Season Ten and beyond.
“There’s so many wonderful characters on the show, and so we always want to develop all of them, but there’s limited time and we have a giant cast,” Kang told Atomic Geekdom at PaleyFest. “I’m really interested in continuing to develop the new group that came in, like Magna, Yumiko, I think they’re such great actors. So as time goes on we’d love to learn more about them, and about Connie and Kelly, Luke, so I think they’re sort of ripe for more development because they’re new to our world, and so many of our other characters have had lots of story.”
The tight knit group survived Alpha’s (Samantha Morton) culling that claimed the lives of ten victims, offering a switch up from the comic books where Luke was among the severed heads placed atop pikes marking Whisperer territory. But the pack nonetheless have a personal stake in the strife against the Whisperers, having integrated into the Hilltop community formerly led by Jesus (Tom Payne) and then the freshly slain Tara (Alanna Masterson).
“Every season that we make there’s a certain amount that is purely based on the comic and then there’s a certain amount of remix and improvisation that we do,” Kang said of deviations from the source material.
“Obviously the array of characters we have is different than what is in the comic at this point — Daryl (Norman Reedus) doesn’t even exist in the comic — but I think one of the great things about it is it allows us to keep the comic book readers on their toes as well. They know we’re gonna get to these certain iconic moments, but how do we get there?”
Ridloff, whose Connie swiftly emerged as a fan-favorite amid calls for a romance with Daryl, previously told Variety the deaths of the pikes victims “will have a huge impact on what happens in Season Ten,” set to continue the conflict against Alpha, Beta (Ryan Hurst) and their vicious band of skin-wearing Whisperers. Kang and Hurst previously teased Season Ten will peek under the masks, so to speak, of both Alpha and Beta.
The Walking Dead first brings Season Nine to a close with its snow-covered season finale Sunday at 9/8c on AMC.
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