Walking Dead: Samantha Morton Cast as Evil Alpha in Season 9

Samantha Morton The Walking Dead

Psst: The infamous leader of The Whisperers is headed to The Walking Dead. As announced Friday at the AMC drama’s San Diego Comic-Con panel, Samantha Morton (Minority Report) is joining the series‘ forthcoming ninth season as comic-conceived antagonist Alpha.

Last week, new showrunner Angela Kang hedged when we asked about the possible arrival of the survivor group known as The Whisper, telling us, “All I’ll say is there are some really exciting things in store for fans of the comics.”

News of Morton’s casting broke just moments after Walking Dead leading man Andrew Lincoln confirmed that Season 9 would be his swan song as Rick. “This will be my last season, playing the part of Rick Grimes,” the actor announced at panel. “I love this show. It means everything to me. I love the people who make this show. I promise not to cry — I’ve done enough crying on screen.”

Other key takeaways from The Walking Dead‘s #SDCC event:

* Kang announced that several other comic book characters will be joining the show, including Earl (played by The X-Files‘ John Finn), Tammy (Grace Under Fire‘s Brett Butler), Luke (The Goldbergs‘ Dan Fogler), and saviors Jed (Entourage‘s Rhys Coiro) and Justin (The 100‘s Zach McGowan).

* After several seasons of watching the world being torn apart, the survivors have started to rebuild. “Like in real life, there is hope, and we’re starting to see society come back,” executive producer David Alpert previewed. “It’s not a smooth process, and people have to fight to make it work.”

* “We’re getting to see some sides of Negan that we’ve never seen before,” Kang teased.