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EXCLUSIVE: ‘The Walking Dead’ Wants John Hawkes as the Governor; Tom Savini Campaigning for the Role

Tom Savini has made it clear to executive producer Greg Nicotero that he is tailor made for this important Season 3 character.
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EXCLUSIVE: ‘The Walking Dead’ Wants John Hawkes as the Governor; Tom Savini Campaigning for the Role

Tom Savini has made it clear to Greg Nicotero that he is tailor made for this important Season 3 character While Philip Blake, aka The Governor, is a major player in The Walking Dead comic book series, fans will have to wait until The Walking Dead Season 3 to see him take shape as a living human being. We recently caught up with Sex Machine Tom Savini, who revealed some interesting information about the casting of this important, though yet unseen, character.

As the actor describes it, he has been campaigning for the role of The Governor himself, telling executive producer and longtime friend Greg Nicotero that he was tailor made for the role. And it's true. The character in the graphic novel does look suspiciously like Tom Savini, who famously slaughtered zombies in the original 1978 Dawn Of The Dead, and then went onto direct a pretty good remake of Night of the Living Dead.

Quite frankly, Tom Savini would be perfect for the part.

But, AMC is going after a name, and that name is John Hawkes, seen in Deadwood and Winter's Bone.

Here's what Tom Savini had to say.

"When am I going to be on The Walking Dead? I should be the governor on that damn thing! Listen, I have been campaigning to be the governor on that damn thing with Greg Nicotero for over a year. Everytime I see the graphic novel, and I see a picture of The Governor, who looks just like me, I send Greg a picture. I just won't give up. Last time I talked to him about it, when I was in Los Angeles, he said they were going after a name for that part. I said, "Who?" He said John Hawkes.

Well, I never heard of John Hawkes. But then he reminds me that we were in From Dusk Till Dawn together. He is the guy at the beginning in the store that fires on them. Apparently he was up for an Academy Award. He was up for something called Winter's Bone. That's whom they are going after for The Governor. But everyone I talk to, the people that read the graphic novels...They've all said that I would be the perfect governor. Because he is tough and brutal. And...I look just like the graphic depiction of him!"

Is The Governor in the comics actually based on Tom Savini?

"I've never heard it confirmed that it was based on me. I wish the writers and the producers would remember that if I was. Because I'm available, and I want to do it. Tell everyone to vote: Tom Savini for Governor on The Walking Dead!"

We'll have more as this casting story breaks in the near future.

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  • ghostman • 4 years ago

    John Hawkes was made for the role, Tom Savini inspired The Governor's character. So there you have it; I vote for Hawkes :)


    • Justin-Neault • 4 years ago

      If he didn't have such a reputation for being such a dick to work with, maybe he'd have a shot. He's pretty much black-listed with anyone else besides his bum-chums R.R. and Q.T.


      • 2movieguys • 4 years ago

        Tom Savini is the man!! Huge fan of Tom Savini !


        • daveactor7 • 4 years ago

          Just because you look it doesnt mean you can play the character. Only a person who isnt an actor would say that.....


          • joekerr2e • 4 years ago

            I vote Savini. Not only one of the Godfathers of the Zombie Movement, we're talking one of the founding fathers of slasher f/x. This guy was my special f/x idol throughout the 80's. Just remember, when you see Jason's head slide down the machete in Friday the 13th part 4... this guys has that bust in his garage. This guy was Pixar before CGI came around.


            • movie-nut • 4 years ago

              I haven't seen either of them in anything and I've never read the comics, but I feel like if Savini is taking the time to "campaign" for it and wants it as bad as he says he does, he deserves it. Although, I do agree with @balanorange in saying that they look a lot alike.


              • narrator • 4 years ago

                I agree with @brian. Hawkes would give a grizzling performance as the Governor. Just point him in the right direction, and shoot the scene - whatever happens, we'll most likely end up loving it.


                • Paul-Elverud • 4 years ago

                  Yeah, huge name that, John Hawkes!


                  • thedarkknight23 • 4 years ago

                    I vote for Sex Machine


                    • brian • 4 years ago

                      @gallagher You'll probably get a pre-screener by mistake. You know where to send it.


                      • brian • 4 years ago

                        @balanorange Very true. At the same time, this show has enough acting duds. Let's get some talent up in there!


                        • gallagher • 4 years ago

                          Man, that is a tough call. They would both be great! I'm guessing if they're going after a name, the Gov would be in most of the Season 3 episodes. Intriguing.


                          • balanorange • 4 years ago

                            They both look a like. They could play brothers. But my vote is for Tom Savini. He's one of the Godfathers of the Zombie Movement. He was in Dawn of the Dead. He is, still, to this day, Sex Machine!


                            • brian • 4 years ago

                              You can NEVER go wrong with John Hawkes.


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