Michael James Shaw will play Mercer of the Commonwealth in the upcoming final season of The Walking Dead. Shaw's badass survivor is part of a new group of characters tied to the white-armored soldiers glimpsed in "A Certain Doom," the original season finale that aired in October, and who are behind the New World Order referenced in the Season 11 teaser that premiered during Sunday's extended Season 10 premiere. A fan-favorite character and commander of the Commonwealth Army, Mercer is a Marine who stands out with his red armor and the pair of axes he wields as his signature weapons.
Shaw's television credits include a recurring role in Limitless and appearances in Blue Bloods, Bull, DC's Constantine, and his role as Aiden Shaw in Blood & Treasure. Shaw famously played Corvus Glaive, a computer-generated alien member of Thanos' villainous Black Order, in Marvel Studios blockbusters Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.
Mercer first appears in issue #177 of The Walking Dead and goes on to become a trusted ally of Rick Grimes, also forming a close relationship with Juanita "Princess" Sanchez (played in the show by Season 10 newcomer Paola Lázaro). In the comics, Mercer is also the mistreated bodyguard of the spoiled Sebastian Milton, the son of Governor Pamela Milton, the classist leader of the Commonwealth — a sprawling network of communities home to nearly 50,000 survivors.
"The one episode that's coming up [extended Season 10 episode 'Splinter'], that's just the tip of the iceberg. There's a whole big story to be played," showrunner Angela Kang teased when hinting at the Commonwealth during The Walking Dead Extended Season 10 Preview Special. "There's more characters within that group to meet, but we will start to get into them a bit, get a sense of their vibe, what they're about, through our characters' perspective. But there's so much more cool story to come in Season 11."
On the armored soldiers of the Commonwealth Army, Kang said, "It tells you that this group is really formidable, they are organized, they have some access to the materials that you need to create in a uniform fashion, so that's really unlike some of the groups that we've seen. Because our groups have only been able to do things like that on a very limited basis, like [how] Eugene was only able to make a handful of perfect bullets. But these guys have a lot more going on."
Season 11 previously cast Margot Bingham as Stephanie, another member of the Commonwealth and the owner of the voice on Eugene's (Josh McDermitt) radio. It was a connection with Stephanie that brought Eugene's group to Charleston, West Virginia, where they were apprehended by the Commonwealth Army.