Before AMC's The Walking Dead wrapped its six-episode "Season 10C," viewers had a chance to preview the 'New World Order" awaiting our survivors as the Commonwealth enters the scene for the long-running series' 11th and final season. To that end, a major name from the comics storyline was announced to be making his live-action debut- with Michael James Shaw (Blood & Treasure) set as a series regular in the role of Mercer. Originally introduced in Issue #177 of the comic book series, Mercer is the leader of the Commonwealth military who becomes romantically involved with Princess (played in the television series by Paola Lázaro) in the comics. Mercer is known for his haircut, red armor, and military background- now he's officially 'known" to be on set, with Shaw posting an image of his trailer on Instagram Stories:
Here's a look at some of the highlights from Kang's conversation with EW:
When Season 11 Starts, The Focus Will Be On a Number of Storylines- Including Connie: "We'll be dealing with the new group that our foursome of Eugene, Ezekiel, Princess, and Yumiko ran across and that starts to open up their world in bigger and unexpected ways," Kang revealed "Then of course we've got to see that Connie is still alive at the end of episode 16, so we still got that thread out there to deal with. We've got some great stories at Alexandria, as they're dealing with the aftermath of this Whisperer war and things start to amp up even further. Then it all keeps rolling from there."
Viewers Will Be Seeing Daryl in a New Light: "We've got some really intriguing stuff for Daryl. We'll be putting him in a very different context than he's been in before," Kang said- but will that include Leah (Lynn Collins). Our prediction? Daryl (Norman Reedus) meets back up with Lynn- with a little one in her arms.
Oh Yes, Maggie and Negan Will Be Addressed: "There's a big, important story that has to do with Maggie and Negan, and I think it should be fascinating. Those two are really, really great across from each other," Kang teased. But after the events of "Here's Negan," this isn't the same Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) that Maggie (Lauen Cohan) remembers. "He got to the point where he remembered that she wanted him to fight, and she understood the importance of being with other people. That's one of the things that she says to him: 'We can't make it on our own. It's never going to happen.'" Kang explained. "And Negan, he's really thinking about the legacy of his wife and what she hoped for the two of them and what she hoped for him and has decided, 'You know what? I've earned my place here and I'm going to prove that I have a place here. And if that means I've got to face Maggie, even though that's something that is uncomfortable for me to face, and I don't want to, and it scares me in some ways, that's what I have to do.'"
Now here's a look back at the full "Questions" teaser released on Sunday, making those scenes of an ominous interrogation room, ice cream and cake displays, posters of missing people on boards, a bench at a subway stop with a pointed message to God, and what a courtroom with a gavel on the table a bit easier to understand- with a look at a Commonwealth red security uniform. And then there's the interrogation…
In a conversation with Insider from last month, showrunner and executive producer Angela Kang offered some additional insight into the first full teaser for the final season and how a classic moment from the comics will also be getting a "remix" over the course of the final 24 episodes. With regards to the scenes with the bakery and the "missing persons" board that were reminding comics fans of Michonne's storyline with her long-lost daughter Elodie? You were right on target except with Danai Gurira's Michonne gone from the series, viewers should expect that storyline to shift elsewhere- but to who? "I think for comic-book fans that [those scenes] definitely means something specific," Kang explained. "We're planning to do some version of that, but, since we don't have Michonne, we'll see what form that takes."
Kang also revealed recently that "When we start [Season 11], we're rockin' and rollin.' We're back to being big and scope-y. There's going to be a feeling that things are just ripping along for the first block. Then, we're going for some different tonal things than we're used to on the show, which hopefully will be fun for the audience." And Kang means running the gamut of tonal from out-and-out horror and action to romance to even the occasional moment to smile every now and then. "I think it's just that mix," Kang explained. "As we meet more than one kind of new community, every story will have its own vibe. So some of them may go into types of genres that haven't been really explored on the show before." For Kang, it's about giving the viewers a chance to see that a series that's been running for 11 seasons still has a surprise or two up its sleeve. "My hope is that it will feel like we're still finding things that are new, even in the final season," she says."But also that we're just moving right along."