The Walking Dead series newcomer Michael James Shaw is speaking out for the first time about his Season 11 role as Mercer, an officer of the Commonwealth Army. The Blood & Treasure and Avengers: Infinity War actor joins the Final Season alongside just-announced series regulars Laila Robins (The Boys, The Blacklist) as Governor Pamela Milton and Josh Hamilton (Ray Donovan, 13 Reasons Why) as Lance Hornsby, both prominent figures of the Commonwealth: the new civilization home to the armored soldiers who have apprehended Eugene (Josh McDermitt) and his traveling companions. The army's leader is Shaw's red-armored Mercer, a later addition to creator Robert Kirkman's comic book saga.
"For our comic book fans, they know there's a certain storyline coming that involves people like our fine character Mercer that's being played by Mike Shaw with great aplomb," tight-lipped showrunner Angela Kang said during a Season 11 San Diego Comic-Con@Home panel introducing Shaw.
Joining the super-sized Season 11 of The Walking Dead "has been a joy, especially coming off of last year," Shaw said. "This was a silver lining at the end of the tunnel. An awkward kid who loved to read comic books getting to step into the shoes of a really awesome comic book character is just a dream."
Details about the stoic soldier shown off in promotional materials, including Season 11A key art and the first trailer released at Comic-Con, are being kept under wraps. On playing a character well-known to comic book readers in his live-action debut, Shaw said with a laugh: "I was about to shit a brick."
"It was daunting, you know, stepping into this huge machine," said the newest Walking Dead series regular. "But there was a lot of love from the cast and crew, and they welcomed me with open arms. It was great to step into a family. It's a beautiful thing."
Along with the previously announced Margot Bingham (She's Gotta Have It, New Amsterdam), Ritchie Coster (Happy!, Shades of Blue) joins in a role that is TBA.
The Final Season of The Walking Dead premieres August 15 on AMC+ and August 22 at 9/8c on AMC. Follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter for all things TWD.