Luck alum Tom Payne has joined the cast of the zombie drama based on Robert Kirkman‘s comics, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
Payne will join the series in a recurring role for season six — with an option for season seven — and play Paul Monroe, aka “Jesus.”
The character was first introduced in issue 91 of the comics. He is a resident at the Alexandria Safe-Zone who moved to the community from another group called the Hilltop Colony. The character is a rare logical man and skilled adviser with a strong sense of morals and values who is well-adapted to the new world.
The character, still alive in the comics, becomes a key member of the group in the comics ahead of the war against The Savors and major villain Negan.
Showrunner Scott M. Gimple previously told THR that introducing Negan would be “challenging,” especially given the character’s penchant for f-bombs. “There’s a particular story in that arc that I’m very excited for. But because we know where we’re going, we have some opportunities to play around with it and put some things in that will lead up to [Negan and Alexandria] in different ways yet fulfill the story Robert told to the Nth degree by utilizing some slightly different approaches. Lineups and timelines and the whole 9 yards.”
For many fans of the AMC series “The Walking Dead,” this season has been unrelenting in its violence and pace. If you have read Robert Kirkman’s comic book series you aren’t surprised at all. Purists have often criticized the TV series as “Inspired by” the comics, but not following the core story. With news coming from “The Hollywood Reporter” that key comic based characters “Jesus” and “Negan” have been cast it looks like comic fans will get their wish.