Ian Anthony Dale and Laurie Fortier have joined the eleventh and final season of The Walking Dead. According to Deadline, who broke the news, Dale (Hawaii Five-0, All Rise) will play Tomi, “a long-time member of a group recently discovered by our heroes” whose existence “continually impacts them in ways none of them could imagine or avoid.” Fortier (Hemlock Grove, Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G.) plays Agatha, whose role is under wraps. Tomi and Agatha don’t have exact counterparts in creator Robert Kirkman’s comic book, but one of these two characters is the show’s spin on a twist from the pages of The Walking Dead.
“I think what we’re always looking to do is drawing from the themes and kind of major events and ideas that Kirkman has because he just turns out really great plot twists and turns,” showrunner Angela Kang previously told the Deadline podcast about the AMC series’ deviations from the source material. “[He] really thinks about interesting new groups or philosophies about how to deal with the apocalypse, so we always want to pay homage to that and be true to some of the things that really draw us as readers.”
Kang continued: “We definitely have to do a certain amount of deviation. What’s been great is that Kirkman has always been all for it because he’s like, ‘I think it’s great if people who read the comics are also getting a bit of a different experience on the show.’ So that’s given us a lot of freedom which I am grateful for because we kind of need it at this point, because we can’t do exactly the comic book. It wouldn’t feel right. Some of the stories wouldn’t line up exactly right with the people that we have.”
Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura) is one of the show characters taking over a twisty comic book storyline inspired by a book character no longer on The Walking Dead. As part of the expedition led by Eugene (Josh McDermitt), Yumiko’s group encounters a new civilization called the Commonwealth.
Kang last month revealed new series regulars Laila Robins (The Blacklist, The Boys) and Josh Hamilton (Ray Donovan, 13 Reasons Why) as two key characters from this new community. Ritchie Coster (Happy!, Shades of Blue) also joins this season alongside the previously announced Margot Bingham (She’s Gotta Have It, New Amsterdam) and Michael James Shaw (Avengers: Infinity War, Blood & Treasure) as the armored Mercer.
Follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter for all things TWD. The Final Season of The Walking Dead premieres August 22 on AMC.