The Walking Dead series has cast two pivotal characters from the comic book for the fourth season of AMC's zombie drama. At a New York Comic-Con panel this past Saturday, the producers announced that actor Michael Cudlitz (Southland, Band of Brothers) would be assuming the role of Sgt. Abraham Ford and that Josh McDermitt (Retired at 35) would take on the role of Ford's accomplice, Dr. Eugene Porter, according to The Hollywood Reporter. They will be introduced alongside character Rosita Espinosa, Ford's girlfriend, who will be played in the TV series by Twilight alumna Christian Serratos.
As has been the case with all of the other characters on the show, fans of the comic series should not expect what's on TV to perfectly align with what they've read. "We're going to tell a version of the Eugene, Abraham and Rosita comic stories, that's what we do," showrunner Scott Gimple said. "I love those characters from the book; they are very different flavors of comic book characters than we've seen on the show."
Gimple did say that the show is sticking close to the comic book in one respect: McDermitt will be sporting Porter's trademark coiffure. "Josh looks breathtaking in a mullet; he was born to wear one," Gimple said. "I can proudly announce we will see a mullet!"
(Spoilers ahead!) In the comic series, protagonist Rick Grimes and his group meet up with Ford and the bemulleted Porter, after they leave the prison. Showrunner Gimple suggests that will happen in the TV series sometime after the third episode. In the comic series, Ford was a sports coach and an Army sergeant prior to the zombie apocalypse and Porter was once a high school science teacher. As they head toward Washington D.C., Porter leads them all to believe he understands why smelly, hissing dead people have arisen from their endless slumbers to feast on the living. Though he turns out to be wrong, the characters – who first appear in issue 53 of the comic series – remain longtime fixtures, playing a huge part in how Grimes and Co. adapt to their new surroundings.