By Zachary Moser
Dead City is the fifth installment of The Walking Dead TV franchise, and there are new characters to join series regulars Negan and Maggie Greene.
The spinoff miniseries The Walking Dead: Dead City brings back old characters and actors while introducing new cast members to further fill out the franchise. The Walking Dead: Dead City follows Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan) after the events of The Walking Dead as they travel to New York City to rescue Maggie’s son, Hershel (Logan Kim). Sometime between the end of The Walking Dead and the spinoff series, Hershel has been captured by “The Croat” and brought to New York City, which is completely overtaken by walkers and anarchist gangs.
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The Walking Dead's Dead City spinoff is the first direct sequel to the original show and the fifth TV entry in the franchise overall after Fear the Walking Dead, The Walking Dead: World Beyond, and Tales of the Walking Dead. While the main series was primarily about survival and finding a home in the apocalypse, this one is uniquely different by being a mission-driven show with a specific goal for the protagonists. In The Walking Dead: Dead City, returning characters Negan and Maggie lead a cast of talented actors playing the friends and enemies they meet on their journey to rescue Hershel.
Lauren Cohan As Maggie Greene
Lauren Cohan returns to the Walking Dead franchise in The Walking Dead: Dead City and reprises her role as Maggie Greene. Maggie first appeared in season 2 of the original series and went through a major character evolution throughout The Walking Dead, eventually starting a relationship with Glenn that brought her into direct conflict with Negan after he murdered her husband. Cohan has built most of her career around playing Maggie, and it is her best-known part. She also appeared in small roles on Modern Family and Chuck, played Martha Wayne in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and starred in the supernatural horror film The Boy.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan As Negan Smith
Jeffrey Dean Morgan had a long career before The Walking Dead, but his turn as Negan informed what roles the actor would get ever since, and how he would play them. A (former) sociopathic leader of the Saviors, Negan personally killed many major Walking Dead characters including Glenn and Abraham. Eventually, Negan’s harsh exterior began to soften, and a traumatized and guilt-ridden man was exposed. Outside of The Walking Dead, Morgan appeared in recurring roles on Supernatural, Grey’s Anatomy, and The Good Wife. His movies include Watchmen, in which he played the Comedian, and he also brought his cocked eyebrow and smirking acting style to Red Dawn and Rampage.
Logan Kim As Hershel Rhee
Hershel Rhee is Maggie and Glenn’s son. The last time he was seen on The Walking Dead, he was relatively safe with his mother. Sometime in the intervening years, Herschel was abducted by “The Croat” and brought to New York City. In the original show, Kien Michael Spiller played Herschel, but Logan Kim has been cast for the character's older years in The Walking Dead: Dead City. This is Kim’s second major role after starring in another horror-based franchise property. In the movie Ghostbusters: Afterlife, he played “Podcast," a fan of the original team who got to play the part and save the world as one of the poltergeist exterminators.
Gaius Charles As Perlie Armstrong
Gaius Charles has been cast as Perlie Armstrong on The Walking Dead: Dead City. Perlie is hunting after Negan while Negan and Maggie search for Hershel. With a history as checkered as Negan’s, Perlie’s hate for the protagonist is certainly justified. This role will give Charles one of the first leading man parts he’s had since his time playing the brash and charming Brian “Smash” Williams on Friday Night Lights. He has played more stoic roles closer aligned with Perlie in the past in shows like Grey’s Anatomy as Dr. Shane Ross and American activist Bunchy Carter in Aquarius.
Željko Ivanek As "The Croat"
The big bad of The Walking Dead: Dead City is “The Croat,” played by Željko Ivanek. The Croat is a mysterious man who was once a member of Negan’s villainous group the Saviors. Eventually, the Croat defected and went to Manhattan to establish his own gang, which murders and kidnaps people, including Hershel. The Croat is not the first morally dubious character Ivanek has played in his career. He portrayed the villain Andre Drazen on 24, Governor James Devlin on Oz, and Raymond "Ray" Fiske on Damages, a role which earned him an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.
Lisa Emery As The Dama
Lisa Emery appears in The Walking Dead: Dead City as the Dama, an ally of the Croat. Manhattan, the "Dead City," is filled with things worse than walkers. Vying gangs have sprung up across the city and are constantly fighting outsiders and each other to gain the strongest foothold. The Dama, a powerful figure of one of these gangs, is played by Lisa Emery. Before The Walking Dead: Dead City, the actress spent most of her career cast in smaller movie and TV roles before her breakout role as Darlene Snell in Ozark. This makes the Dama Emery’s second major role as an unhinged and terrifying gang leader.
The Walking Dead: Dead City Supporting Characters
Jonathan Higginbotham as Tommaso: One of the survivors in The Walking Dead: Dead City. Higginbotham has only been cast in a few small roles before this, appearing on The Blacklist and Shining Vale.
Mahina Napoleon as Ginny: Cast as Ginny in The Walking Dead: Dead City is Mahina Napoleon, in only her second acting role. Her first is a recurring part on NCIS: Hawai’i as Julie Tennant.
Trey Santiago-Hudson as Jano: Cast as Jano in The Walking Dead: Dead City is Try Santiago-Hudson, who has also appeared in New Amsterdam, You Hurt My Feelings, and Vineyards.
Michael Anthony as Luther: Cast as Luther in The Walking Dead: Dead City, Michael Anthony previously played smaller roles in Raising Dion, Chicago Med, and Dynasty.
Karina Ortiz as Amaia: Before joining the cast of The Walking Dead: Dead City as Amaia, Karina Ortiz had a recurring role as Margarita on Orange is the New Black and played the recurring character Lupita Garza on the miniseries The Long Road Home.
Alex Borlo as The Prostitute: Cast as an unnamed prostitute character in The Walking Dead: Dead City, Borlo is otherwise best known for her starring role as Ari Atlas on the miniseries Atlas.
David Chen as Gritz: David Chen is best known for his work as a stunt performer for Luke Cage, Poker Face, and Russian Doll. Along with doing stunts in The Walking Dead: Dead City, he also plays Gritz. Chen often plays unnamed roles in the shows and movies he performs stunts on, but this is one of his first named characters.
Randy Gonzalez as Hunched Man: Cast as a character known as the Hunched Man in The Walking Dead: Dead City, Randy Gonzalez previously appeared in Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk and had a recurring part on Bloodline.
Alex Huynh as Key Swallow: Playing the role of Key Swallow in the miniseries spinoff, Alex Huynh previously did stunts on John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum and appeared in minor roles in Gotham and Treadstone.
Aixa Kendrick as Scavenger Woman: Cast as a recurring scavenger woman in The Walking Dead: Dead City, Aixa Kendrick previously appeared on Happy!, Law &Order: Special Victims Unit, and Sisters.
Caleb Reese Paul as Wesley: Playing the role of Wesley in the miniseries is Caleb Reese Paul, who only had four acting credits before The Walking Dead: Dead City. Notably, he has a recurring role on FBI as Tyler Kelton.
Eleanor Reissa as Esther: Esther, played by Eleanor Reissa, appears in one episode of the miniseries. Reissa previously played a recurring role in The Plot Against America.
John Wu as Mr. Aizawa: Cast as Mr. Aizawa in The Walking Dead: Dead City, John Wu has appeared in numerous TV shows and movies in bit parts, including Bull, DMZ, and FBI: Most Wanted.