Ever since we saw that cloaked figure brandishing a katana sword while accompanied by two chained up armless zombies in The Walking Dead’s season 2 finale, fans have been salivating for a first look at the woman under the hood — Michonne. That first look is now here. A fan favorite from The Walking Dead comic book on which the AMC series is based, Michonne will be played by actress Danai Gurira (Treme) when the show returns for season 3 this October, and here is your exclusive first taste of what she will look like.
In the comics, Michonne is an unflinching warrior who proves to be powerful ally for Rick Grimes and the rest of the survivors. But how different will the onscreen version be? “The essence of the character — her personality, her motives, everything that makes Michonne Michonne — remains intact from the comics,” says Robert Kirkman (the creator of the comic and executive producer of the TV adaptation). “But like a lot of things on the show, there will be little tweaks and differences here and there. We saw that her introduction is slightly different from how it was in the comic, and her interaction with Andrea is really going to be a really cool addition to the character that I think will get television viewers up to speed, and they’ll get to know her a lot faster than comic book readers did.”
As for why they cast the relatively unknown Danai Gurira for the pivotal role, Kirkman says, “We looked at a lot of talented people that were really fantastic, but we were waiting for that one spark, that moment where everyone was completely in agreement and completely excited, and we felt like we had found the essence of this fictional character that just randomly appeared in another person, and that person was Danai Gurira. She kind of came in and really just blew us all away. She’s got incredible presence, and she’s got a theater background, and is very physical, and was just perfect for the role.”
Kirkman is equally enthusiastic about the big location setting for season 3, as Rick and company attempt to turn a prison into their new zombie-proof fortress. “It looks absolutely amazing,” gushes Kirkman. “They are shooting the hell out of this prison. It just looks absolutely stunning, and I think when people start seeing trailers and stuff for this season, I think people are just gonna be like, “Wait, what? This is what? I can’t believe this is a TV show!” It’s really creepy, really moody and it’s just gonna be really awesome.”
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