The Walking Dead showrunner Angela Kang hints Season Ten, already officially confirmed by network AMC, will peek under the fleshy mask of Whisperer Beta (Ryan Hurst).
"Stay tuned. It may not be right away, but there's another season to come, et cetera," Kang told EW when asked if future episodes will reveal Beta backstory after early apocalypse flashbacks highlighted Alpha's (Samantha Morton) beginnings.
"We definitely have very clear, clear ideas of what Beta was doing before the apocalypse and in those early years and things. Ryan and I have had some of the greatest conversations about it. Obviously, [creator Robert] Kirkman has his ideas in the comic, as well."
Kirkman's comic books presents Beta as Alpha's towering and ferociously loyal lieutenant who has killed his own underlings to protect his true identity, which he hides beneath a walker mask at all times.
"When I first met with Angela, the showrunner, she thought that I would have an aversion to having the mask on all the time. She was like, 'Yeah, there might be some times when you take off the mask.' And I was like, 'Well, let's talk about that.' Because, in the comic book, he does not take off his mask. And the reasons why are never really fully explored," Hurst told Insider.
"I said, 'Well, let's discuss him actually keeping it on all of the time.' I think that that's such a beautiful enigma of what happens to a person after the end of the world when they decide to don the skin mask of a dead human being and keep it on all of the time. I think it's such a beautiful mystery of who and why does somebody decide to do that? And I think, you only lessen things if you have him take off the mask. So, I think you'll see him in that mask for a greater portion of Beta's time on The Walking Dead."
Hurst then confirmed he developed some backstory with Kang, which he hopes finds its way into the series sooner rather than later.
"I can't tell you, and I can't tell you what the event is, but we came to a consensus," Hurst teased.
"I had a really wild idea that I brought to the table, and we had a few meetings about it, and where we landed is somewhere I'm very happy about. But yeah, his backstory is solidified and hopefully we'll start to see little bits of that at some point. But I can't tell you more than that. It's cool. That's all I can say."
Despite its usual no-one-is-safe modus operandi, the former Sons of Anarchy star expects longevity from his Walking Dead villain — especially if the character follows the trajectory of his comic book counterpart, who emerges for a time as leading villain.
The Walking Dead premieres new Season Nine episodes Sundays at 9/8c on AMC. Kang is now developing Season Ten for an October debut.
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