The Walking Dead

Walking Dead Negan & Maggie Spinoff Casts First New Character

Friday Night Lights star Gaius Charles joins the Walking Dead Negan and Maggie spinoff Isle of the Dead as the series' first original lead character.

The Walking Dead spinoff series Isle of the Dead has just cast its first original main character. Although the long-running AMC zombie drama The Walking Dead will be leaving the airwaves after its season 12 finale premieres later this year, the story will continue in Isle of the Dead, one of several spinoffs set in the post-apocalyptic world of the series. It will focus on the characters Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), who have formed an extremely tenuous bond as long as it helps them both survive.

Isle of the Dead is set to premiere sometime in 2023. Cohan and Morgan will be reprising their roles and executive producing the series along with showrunner Eli Jorné. Although plot details are currently thin on the ground, especially considering the fact that the characters’ fates at the end of The Walking Dead have yet to be revealed, it has been officially announced that the series will be a six-episode season set in Manhattan.

Per Deadline, Gaius Charles just joined Isle of the Dead as a brand new lead character named Izaak. Although it has not yet been announced in what way his journey will play into Maggie and Negan’s, his personality will mesh perfectly with their already complicated dynamic. Described as “confident, ruthless, and unyielding in his pursuit of what he believes is justice,” Izaak will straddle the line between hero and villain. He wants to make the world around him safe for his wife and daughters while handling a previous loss that haunts him. He has a tendency to switch between humor and terror, so he will be a difficult character to pin down from just a single episode.

Charles is most likely best known to people for his role as Smash Williams on the high school football drama series Friday Night Lights, being featured on 41 episodes from the pilot through season 3. However, he has also had long stints on the primetime medical soap Grey’s Anatomy and Taken, the series that reinvented the Liam Neeson film franchise with Clive Standen stepping in as lead Bryan Mills. More recently, he has held roles on God Friended Me and Queens, as well as the reboot series Roswell, New Mexico, and The Wonder Years.

While Isle of the Dead is still too early in pre-production to get a strong sense of the plot, it has already ensured that it will be interesting. Surrounding layered legacy characters like Negan and Maggie with people who are even more complicated than they are is a surefire way to make sure their fragile bond is tested over and over again. The more volatile characters they surround themselves with, the less likely it will be that both of them make it out of the series finale alive.

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