jeffrey dean morgan's negan at night on the walking dead season 11

While celebrating the final season of The Walking Dead feels like an oxymoron, it does look like the long-running AMC series will be going out with a bang, a bunch of gouging and at least a handful of explosions, so what's not to celebrate about that? The entire franchise delivered major updates for the three shows' upcoming seasons as part of [email protected], but The Walking Dead arguably featured the biggest reveals during its panel, with showrunner Angela Kang announcing that The Blacklist vet Laila Robins will be taking on the big comic book-sourced role of Pamela Milton, along with some other casting news.

laila robins as katarina in the blacklist

Laila Robins as Pamela Milton

In recent years, Laila Robins has been involved with several different shows with fandom-friendly mythologies, including The Blacklist, The Boys and The Handmaid's Tale. She's adding another big one with The Walking Dead, as she'll portray Pamela Milton, whose comic iteration was the governor of the massive survivor community dubbed The Commonwealth. It doesn't sound like much will change here, and Robins is about as perfect a choice as I can think of to play the Gov, as she can definitely switch between emotional warmth and cruel authority at the drop of a (tattered cowboy) hat.

josh hamilton as lance hornsby in promotional video on the walking dead season 11

Josh Hamilton as Lance Hornsby

Showrunner Angela Kang also confirmed during The Walking Dead's panel that 13 Reasons Why and American Horror Story alum Josh Hamilton has joined the Walking Dead's universe as Lance Hornsby. In the comic book from Robert Kirkman, Lance serves in an administrative capacity within the Commonwealth, and while he's not necessarily an evil villain by any stretch, his loyalty is not guided by a moral balance. Fans could actually see a first-look shot of Hamilton's Lance at the tail-end of the first big Season 11 trailer, in which he was part of a promotional video for The Commonwealth that hints at an intriguing backstory for that particular location.

ritchie coster in jail on happy!

Ritchie Coster as ???

The third piece of new casting news is a bit more mysterious, as Angela Kang revealed Happy! and The Flight Attendant's Ritchie Coster is joining Season 11 in a non-disclosed role.  At this late point in The Walking Dead's adaptation, there aren't very many more major comic book characters to introduce into live-action, so there technically aren't that many characters that Coster could play. So the fact that Kang is keeping things secretive is pretty interesting and possibly speaks to there being a meaningful surprise element involved.

Strangely, Kang also noted New Amsterdam star Margot Bingham's casting without saying the role, though we've known since last year that Bingham will be portraying the comic book character Stephanie, whom Eugene had been in contact with over the radio. Does that mean her role was switched up? Hard to tell at this point, of course, but I can't imagine the show's creative team pulling a fast one on Eugene like that. Oh, wait...no, I can definitely see that happening.

When will we meet these new characters? Find out when The Walking Dead Season 11 debuts on AMC on Sunday, August 22, at 9:00 p.m. ET, as part of a totally packed 2021 Fall TV season.

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