As one production wraps, another begins for The Walking Dead star Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who plays the villain with a 180 redemption arc, Negan Smith. On July 17 the actor teased the start of production to his next project with the TWD Universe, Isle of the Dead, which he will be starring in with co-star Lauren Cohen, who plays Maggie Rhee. For fans of the post-apocalyptic series, Morgan may have dropped a few sneaky hints on his Twitter in regard to the Isle cast, as well.
Collider first reported on the new addition to the TWD world in March, when news broke that following the conclusion of the hit AMC series The Walking Dead‘s eleventh and final season, the two stars would be heading an all-new project titled Isle of the Dead. With the final season coming to an end in the fall, Morgan posted a photo of the brand-new script for their upcoming miniseries spinoff, the fifth in the franchise, to let fans know that the end doesn’t necessarily have to mean goodbye. The script for the pilot episode, the first of six, includes writer Eli Jorné and the director of the episode Loren Yaconelli, and Morgan captioned it, “Here we go… xxJD…”
Isle of the Dead will feature Morgan, Cohen and Gaius Charles serving as the antagonist. Charles is best known for his role as Brian “Smash” Williams in Friday Night Lights, and is said to play the character of Perlie Armstrong, a ruthless family man who serves up unflinching justice, as he sees fit. Described as patient, with interspersed humor, Armstrong sounds like someone you don’t want to make an enemy out of. The miniseries will take place in New York City, specifically in a crumbling Manhattan, where the latest cast of survivors and walkers have created their own new world. How Negan and Maggie’s reception will be handled is yet to be revealed, but if it’s anything like Negan’s first impression, their welcome may not be so warm.
When the series was first announced, Morgan had high praise for the upcoming spinoff:
“I’m delighted that Negan and Maggie’s journey continues. It’s been such a ride walking in Negan’s shoes, I’m beyond excited to continue his journey in New York City with Lauren. Walkers in an urban setting has always been such a cool image, but 5th Avenue, Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty? The greatest city in the world?? The backdrop is amazing, but it’s the story that Eli Jorné cooked up that is even better. Buckle up folks, Isle of the Dead is going to reinvent the TWD Universe. Huge thank you to Dan McDermott, Scott Gimple and AMC for having us back for more… we simply can’t wait.”
Though a full cast has not been announced yet, Morgan did slyly suggest that fans of the franchise’s L.A.-based spinoff Fear the Walking Dead may be in for a surprise. After a seven-season run, Fear star Alycia Debnam-Carey announced her exit from the show, to many fans’ disappointment. Shortly after, Morgan posted a tribute to “…the incredible Debnam-Carey,” on his Twitter, musing what might be next for the actress. Along with praise for her work, Morgan quipped that the AMC family would miss Debnam-Carey, and mysteriously added that they would “patiently await” her return. Clearly Morgan is a fan of riling fans up because he then asked, “How do you feel about New York?”
According to the script’s cover on Morgan‘s Instagram, the first episode of Isle of the Dead will be directed by Yaconelli, who has previous experience with the AMC apocalyptic world. Prior to the “Warlords” episode of The Walking Dead, Yaconelli directed a number of episodes for the spinoff The Walking Dead: World Beyond, which focused on the generation that grew up during the post-apocalypse years. Isle is written by Jorné, best known for his work with FX series Wilfred starring Elijah Wood.
The final season of The Walking Dead will premiere on AMC on August 22, following their panel at the 2022 San Diego Comic-Con. Check out Morgan‘s post below: