Michael Rooker Returns as Merle Dixon in ‘The Walking Dead’ Season 3

The actor behind this long-lost fan favorite reveals he's lost over 20 pounds to return for the AMC zombie series.
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Michael Rooker returns as Merle in The Walking Dead Season 3 We are just hours away from The Walking Dead wrapping up Season 2 tonight with Episode 2.13: Beside the Dying Fire at 9 PM ET on AMC. While there will be more bloodshed before this run of episodes calls itself closed, and we may lose a beloved character or two in the process, rest assured, a familiar face will be resurrected when the series returns in October for Season 3.

Michael Rooker has confirmed that he will be back as Merle Dixon.

Merle, the brother of Norman Reedus' Daryl, was handcuffed to a pipe in Season 1 and left for dead. He was forced to cut off his own hand to escape a horde of zombies on a roof, and we never saw him again...Though, Merle did pop up again this season in Episode 2.05: Chupacabra, when Daryl started to hallucinate after being badly injured.

Michael Rooker has also revealed that he lost 20 pounds to return as Merle. It isn't known if this means we may see him as a decrepit zombie. There is also speculation that Merle may join forces with The Governor, who we reported last month will be played by David Morrissey. The Governor is the leader of a survivor settlement entitled Woodbury, so perhaps Merle found his way to Woodbury and was given life-saving treatment for his missing hand.

Production begins on The Walking Dead Season 3 this May in Atlanta. The extended 16-episode season will likely debut sometime in October, during AMC's annual FearFest programming.

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