After five seasons of living on the run and struggling to survive in the zombie apocalypse, Rick Grimes (played by Andrew Lincoln) and the rest of his group have finally found a place they can call home: Alexandria. It’s probably just a matter of time before flesh-eating corpses begin to overwhelm the location, or a twisted group of humans called the Wolves assault the town – but for now, Grimes and his fellow survivors are staying in the suburb, and that’ll play a big part in The Walking Dead season 6.
The AMC’s show is inspired by writer Robert Kirkman’s comic series, and just like in the source material, the TV series kills characters and introduces new ones quite frequently. Aside from a few key individuals, the fate of many survivors is up in the air, and after Rick’s group found a new safe-zone last season, a whole new set of characters were introduced to viewers. Some new faces already perished, while others have received more focus and will return in the new season. Now, another member of Alexandria – one we’ve yet to see – will also receive the spotlight: Heath.
THR announced that Straight Outta Compton actor Corey Hawkins landed the recurring role. In the comics, Heath is a supply runner for Alexandria – a dangerous job since hordes of the undead are lurking beyond the town’s walls – and he becomes good friends with Glenn as they look out for each other during their trips outside of the safe-zone. Despite taking departures from the source material, the TV show still has plenty of nods to it, and Hawkins’ design makes that crystal clear to fans – the hoodie, glasses, and his hair style are pulled right from the comics.
Heath made his first appearance in issue #69 of ‘The Walking Dead’, which was written by Kirman, illustrated by Charlie Adlard, and colored by Cliff Rathburn. In the issue, Rick’s group is being led to the Alexandria Safe-Zone by Aaron, and they’re forced to stop as Aaron sees Heath’s group is in danger. Unlike many other unfortunate characters, Heath is still alive in the comic book series; additionally, he had a relationship with one of Alexandria’s doctors, Denise, who has yet to appear in the show. Of course, just because Heath’s still alive in the comics doesn’t mean that’ll be the case in the AMC show.
Walking Dead has made numerous changes to keep comic fans guessing. For example, Shane Walsh was killed in the sixth issue, yet he was a main character in the show for two seasons. Only time will tell what season six will have in store for the humans unlucky enough to be living in the zombie apocalypse and just how closely the show will stick to Kirkman’s story in the comics.
Hawkins is the first new actor officially announced for the upcoming episodes. The new season will also finally see the return of Morgan Jones (played by Lennie James), the man Rick befriended way back in the show’s very first episode, “Days Gone Bye”.
The Walking Dead returns this October. AMC’s spinoff series, Fear the Walking Dead, begins this summer.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter