The Walking Dead is going to get very interesting, and just a bit strange, in Season 7. As previously reported, it is all but confirmed that Rick and his crew of Survivors will meet up with King Ezekiel and The Kingdom. TVLine reports that casting is already underway for this fan-favorite character from the comic books. And his introduction in The Walking Dead TV show might be more anticipated than Negan himself.
A casting call has gone out for a character called Augustus. But this is just a clever coverup for the real character this particular actor will be playing. Augustus is described exactly as one would describe King Ezekiel, and it's kind of hard to hide what the popular AMC show is about to do. Ezekiel is the self-proclaimed King of The Kingdom. He is called 'flamboyant and wise, nice and weird.' Most important, he will serve as an ally to Rick and his crew of survivors as they set out for revenge against Negan. And he will become particularly close with Michonne.
The Kingdom was first introduced in the 108th issue of The Walking Dead comics, just eight issues after the introduction of Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). In the comics, The Kingdom is a college campus that has been fortified and turned into a survivor's colony, much like the Alexandria Safe-Zone where Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and his crew currently call home. King Ezekiel is a former zookeeper who is best friends with a massive tiger known as Shiva. The deadly beast is always at his side.
It is presumed that The Walking Dead will continue to follow the blue print as laid out in the Robert Kirkman comic books upon which the show is based. The Kingdom will most likely be revealed as one part of the trading network working with The Hilltop, introduced in Season 6. Jesus is the one who introduces Rick to Ezekiel. And they hatch a plan to take down the dastardly Negan after the events of the Season 6 finale, which saw one of Rick's extended family executed at the hands of the Saviors' leader.
It isn't yet known whom Negan killed, a cliffhanger that will be resolved in The Walking Dead Season 7 premiere. During the last episode, fans got their first glimpse at two unique, yet unnamed characters, who come across Morgan (Lennie James) and Carol (Melissa Suzanne McBride). They are wearing the unmistakable armor of the Kingdom residents, while riding horses. Animals aren't something we often see on The Walking Dead, so their appearance did strike those unfamiliar with the comic book as both odd and very exciting. Showrunner Scott M. Gimple teased who these guys were shortly after this finale episode aired.
"Those guys may or may not have been from The Kingdom. We may or may not see The Kingdom. If we do see The Kingdom, it'll be a big reveal and it'll be another new world to inhabit and explore. Can we have a real tiger? That's a great way to put the questions to me because it sort of corners me into a spoiler. I would say, in a really cheeky way, that we can have a lot of things and people are gonna have to wait and see. If I were just watching the show - I'd want to see that tiger."
Augustus is described as an African-America actor in his 40. And it's pretty much been all but confirmed that this is just a codename for King Ezekiel. Many fans are hoping that voice actor Dave Fennoy will take on the role, as he looks perfect for the part and has voiced characters in The Walking Dead video game series. It isn't known when an Ezekiel casting announcement will be made.