"The Walking Dead": Michael Cudlitz-SDCC Tease; Ryan Hurst/Beta Tweet; Norman Reedus/"Stranger Things" Love

With the cast and crew of AMC's The Walking Dead already in a deep-dive production-wise on the tenth season, life in the Walking Dead universe has become a lot like the NFL: neither of them have off-seasons anymore. Season 9 said goodbye to Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and hello to a strong ensemble cast (and a "Big Bad" fronted by the amazing Samantha Morton in an award-earning turn as Whisperers leader Alpha). In doing so, series executive producer and showrunner Angela Kang did the near-impossible: found a way to make the show feel fresh and dangerous again.

Meanwhile, spinoff Fear the Walking Dead charged into a fifth season with Austin Amelio's Dwight and a storyline tying directly with the upcoming Rick Grimes film trilogy. Reports that the second Walking Dead spinoff series (co-created by TWD CCO Scott M. Gimple and showrunner Matt Negrete) had started were officially confirmed. Then there's Entertainment Weekly and their continuing "road of reveals" leading into Comic-Cin International: San Diego (SDCC) that revealed comic book character Dante's transition to the small screen and an active effort to bring Lauren Cohan (Maggie) back to the Walking Dead universe.

With huge announcements like that, sometimes other eyeball-worthy content can get missed, so here's a look at three other Walking Dead-related items you need to know:

● With Michael Cudlitz back for a second go-around behind the camera as director this season (which he wrapped not too long ago), our much-missed Abraham teased an appearance at this year's SDCC – where he'll be "doin' a thing." Hmmm…???

"The Walking Dead" returns to SDCC's Hall H on Friday, July 19, from 1 pm-2 pm. Joining Cudlitz for the event are cast members Norman Reedus, Melissa McBride, Danai Gurira, Ryan Hurst, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Avi Nash, Nadia Hilker, Eleanor Matsuura, and Cailey Fleming, along with Gimple, Kang, executive producers Robert Kirkman, David Alpert, Gale Anne Hurd, and Greg Nicotero. The panel will be moderated by Talking Dead host Chris Hardwick.

● Speaking of Hurst, our beloved Beta dialed up his "method acting meter" to a Spinal Tap-honoring "11" when responding to the The Walking Dead's main Twitter account's appreciation for Ross Marquand's lovable face. Apparently, Hurst finds Marquand's face not so much "lovable" as… "practical and useful"???

● Finally, who says that there has to be bloody, Game of Thrones-like competition between global phenomenon shows like The Walking Dead and Stranger Things – especially now that "The Big Cheese" has officially abdicated its Iron Throne. Reedus took to social media at the end of last week to let everyone know that's he's an honorary citizen of Hawkins, Indiana – throwing a ton of love at the cast and crew behind Netflix's Stranger Things 3:

View this post on Instagram.

buck rogers

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Also, Skybound confirmed earlier reporting that the second The Walking Dead spinoff series (co-created by TWD CCO Scott M. Gimple and showrunner Matt Negrete) has cast Alexa Mansour (Madame Secretary), Nicolas Cantu (The Good Place), and Hal Cumpston (Bilched) to star in the next chapter of the Walking Dead universe, which follows two female protagonists with a focus on the first generation to come-of-age in the zombie apocalypse.

Mansour's character is a good-natured rule breaker who lives for today. She is likable and funny on the outside but sad on the inside. Cantu's character is small for his age in addition to being friendly and an old soul. He also has a black belt in karate. Cumpston's character is big for his age. He is a shy loner that scares some kids, but he hates the fact that he scares people.

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AMC's "The Walking Dead" Season 10

Speaking of the upcoming tenth season, as Lincoln assumes the helm on an episode for the first time while speculation over just how much of a role Michonne will have this season continues to grow. Of course, there's continued buzz over Lauren Cohan's Maggie returning in some capacity – especially now that ABC's Whiskey Cavalier appears to have shuffled off the programming coil and still hasn't found a home.

As we mentioned earlier, Cudlitz is back this season to direct – and an earlier post with Cailey Fleming (Judith) melted our hearts and reminded us that we do – in fact – have the capacity to feel. Cudlitz then followed-up that post with an image that got arenaline raging as he joined Norman Reedus (Daryl) and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Negan) to reassure fans that "these fuckers are killin' it" in his episode:

M. Cudlitz/The Walking Dead/AMC

The Walking Dead is expected to return to AMC in October 2019, with filming currently underway. Fear the Walking Dead currently airs on Sunday nights at 9 p.m. ET, with production on the second spinoff series currently underway in Virginia.

Heading into season 5 of Fear the Walking Dead, the group's mission is clear: locate survivors and help make what's left of the world a slightly better place. With dogged determination, Morgan Jones leads the group with a philosophy rooted in benevolence, community and hope. Each character believes that helping others will allow them to make up for the wrongs of their pasts.

But trust won't be easily earned. Their mission of helping others will be put to the ultimate test when our group finds themselves in unchartered territory, one which will force them to face not just their pasts but also their fears. It is only through facing those fears that the group will discover an entirely new way to live, one that will leave them forever changed.

About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought on board as staff in 2017.

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