Alternate Castings

A Star Studded Version of The Walking Dead

Recasting some members of HBO’s TWD with big-name celebrities.

The Walking Dead was once one of the most popular TV shows in the world. It did however recieve a downwards plummit across the seventh and eight season due to a poorer quality than the previous seasons. They have however recieved a revival that started in Season 9 and the introduction to the Whisperers.

One day, probably around season 3, I thought of a few characters that could have been recasted. Not to say the acting was poor, or didn’t fit the characters, really this is more of a :”What if The Walking Dead had more big-names attatched to it”. So let’s dive in.

Also, minorish spoilers for the series ahead

Aaron – Michael Cera

( Michael Cera ) Photo by Eva Rinaldi

I have a running joke that Aaron ( Ross Marquand ) looks like a wannabe Mark Zuckerberg impersonator, especially in the earlier seasons. So the obvious choice for the part would be Jesse Eisenberg. I mean he literally played him Zuckerberg. Then you remember a little indie film from 2009, I’m sure you’ve never heard of called ‘Zombieland’. Having him be a major act in two big zombie franchises just wouldn’t make sense. Michael Cera however….to my knowledge has never done a zombie film.

Considering how often Cera and Eisenberg are confused with one another, he’d be the next best choice. Though yes, I do believe Eisenberg would be the better choice for the character, he’d simply be a bit to one the nose for most viewers. Besides, Cera could add a whole other level of comedic relief if he chose to. Also Aaron’s only ever really a nice guy, I’ve seen Cera in roles that were debateably more macho than Ross Marquand’s portrayal.

Alpha – Jennifer Jason Leigh

Though Samantha Morton did a perfect job at making me despise her more than I despise The Last Jedi; there’s always some, no matter how small a room for improvement.

While yes, I realize that especially when considering the shared Southern accent, they would be fairly simular. But I promise you Walking Dead would have been a bettee use of her time over whatever the hell Atypical is supposed to be.

Jason Leigh is an extreemly talented actress. She firt hit my radar with her performance of Daisy Domergue in The Hateful Eight. Since then, while never being able to fully replicate that level of insanity ( mostly due to the projects she chooses ), she’s often been one of the best characters in that respective film. Just take her role in ‘Annihilation’, imo she managed to steal the show, just by her sheer level of contrast to the others, whose lead actress was Natalie Portman ( one of my favorite actresses ).

Beth – Evanna Lynch

Other than the obvious accent hurdle, Luna Lovegood might actually have been a good choice. First of all, Lynch would then be known for more than just the Harry Potter films, well plus like two episodes of Flash. She’d also have given a drastically different approach to the character. While yes, Beth was one of the least important/ interesting characters back in Seasons 2 & 3, the writers decided to give Beth genuine character developement in seasons 4-5. Maybe backlash from the HP community for underusing her would get her some more screentime earlier along with more character developement.

Lynch pocesses the same gentle personality that is required for the character. They even look pretty much identitcal on top of that. Though different, I think Lynch could have done a great job if the writers were willing to do more with the character in the earlier seasons.

Dwight – Tom Felton

To me, Dwight always looked an awful lot like if Draco Malfoy got expelled from hogwarts, moved to Alabama, and became an alcoholic. So much so that I’d often refer to him as Draco over his character name, just because it became a meme to me!

That’s pretty much the only reason I put him here.

EnidThomasin McKenzie

First off, I’m specifically referencing Season 9’s Enid, not the kid from Season 6 due to age reasons.

While I don’t think most people recognize this Kiwi actress, she has made a name for herself in recent years. She’s appeared in hit films like Jojo Rabbit, Leave No Trace, The King and the upcoming Edgar Wright film ‘Last Night in Soho’. And yes, she is from New Zealand, but she can do an American accent, as demonstrated in previously mentioned Leave No Trace. In reality, I think McKenzie would have just given a slightly better perfomance than Katelyn Nacon.

Gareth – Matt Dillon

After watching Matt Dillon in The House That Jack Built, I immediatly realized how good a choice he could have been for The Governor. Then I realized that I already casted him ( more with that later ).

So I took the most simular character; Gareth! Chances are you’ve fotgot Gareth entirely. In short, he was the leader of cannibal cult Terminus. Dillon’s portrayal of Jack intrigued me, he had this unassuming psycho/sociopathic look. But if you passed him on the street, maybe even had a hour long conversation with him, you’d assume he were a normal guy. Then you watch the film and see the messed up things his character is capable of. Just like Gareth.

Jesus – Jared Leto

Like Beth/ Evanna Lynch, this one is heavily based on looks. Truth be told, I’m not even that big on Leto. Though most of it’s probably because the first thing I saw of his was his “Joker” impression. But if there’s one thing Leto’s good at is playing the unnerving/ creepy types.

I always felt that Jesus’ could have used a bit more character. Most of his actions could have been played by pretty much any other character. Make Jesus more creepy and stalky, then you’d have at the very least have a semi-unique character on your hands.

Lori – Alexa Davalos

Just outta’ curiousity; did anyone actually like this character? Because I couldn’t have cared less about Lori. Yeah they took her out in a good way, but that doesn’t mean the rest of her was good. All she really did was get in the way of progress and be annoying.

Anyways I think that Alexa Davalos would have been a much smoother choice for Lori. While many people did find her annoying in The Man in the High Castle, I for one really liked the show. She could have a brought a presence that at the very least wouldn’t have annoyed as many people. Disclaimer: I have not seen any other of Sarah Wayne Callie’s work and cannot confirm or deny her other work is worse or better than her performance in TWD

Sascha – Zoe Saldana

( Zoe Saldana ) Photo by Gage Skidmore

While Martin-Green did a great job as Sascha, we need to make this as star-studded as possible. Saldana has all the traits needed to play a perfect Sascha. She’s strong, brave, good with weapons and if they really wanted too they could have thrown in a katana and make her Michonne’s rival or something. Gamora vs Okoye, the fight missing from Endgame.

The Governor – Michael Madsen

( Michael Madsen ) Photo by Aldo Gonzalez Kurdet Abi

Coming to a character who quickly became my least favorite ever, a.k.a. The Governor ( David Morrisey ). Seriously, after what he did to Hershel I will NEVER EVER forgive him ( which is why I cheered when he got beheaded ). As hateable as his character was, I still couldn’t take him very seriously. He was missing a certain edge to him. The first actor that came to mind with an edge like that was Michael Madsen. I previously mentioned Matt Dillon. It could have made more sense to swap their roles, if it weren’t for the simple fact that the Terminus people were supposed to come off as friendly as possible. I don’t think Madsen would’ve necessarily pulled that off.

First of all, I’m fully aware he voiced a character in the Telltale Video Game. But, he did state in an interview that he did want to be a part of the show. Maybe he even auditoned to play this part. Anyway I’m getting carried away. Sure, we can keep all the creepy stuff Morrissey had ( Zombiehead aquariums I’m looking at you ) Take the flashlight/ pepperspray scene from Kill Bill vol. 2. Imagine The Governor being played by that guy. Imagine how much more terrifying Madsen could have been over Morissey. Besides, it could have given Madsen exactly the kind of revival he deserves, and it’s not like he did anything overly memorable in Morrisey’s time on the show either.

What did you think about my star-studded version of TWD? Any other actors you’d have liked to see in the show? If so, lemme’ know in the comments below.

-The Screenwriter

All photos follow this license –

All photos from Wikimedia Commons –

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