The Walking Dead Has Cast A Major Comic Book Character For Season 11

The Walking Dead Season 10 did a fine job of carrying on the general story arcs of the comic book series while continuing to distance itself from specifics, as it did with that Whisperers cliffhanger. One of the more direct ways the AMC series seems to be tethering itself to the source material is through the introduction of Stephanie, the mysterious woman Eugene started communicating with. Stephanie will make her live-action debut in Season 11, and The Walking Dead has officially cast the actress whose voice fans heard on the radio, She's Gotta Have It vet Margot Bingham.

Before everyone starts smacking their foreheads while saying, 'Of course Stephanie is going to be played by the same actress who voiced her," let's take two things into account. For one, even though Margot Bingham provided Stephanie's voice during those short-term conversations with Eugene in Season 10, she hadn't even been fully cast at the time to make the jump to play the role in person. That could have been due to the actress' previous commitments to either Netflix's She's Gotta Have It, which was cancelled in July 2019, or to NBC's New Amsterdam, where she recurs as Evie.

For another thing, Deadline reports that neither AMC nor other sources are currently confirming that Margot Bingham is playing Stephanie for Season 11. That could certainly just be the usual form of Walking Dead smokescreens and subterfuge in an attempt to hinder fans' speculation skills, although it doesn't take very much imagination to assume that the producers basically promoted the person who first brought Stephanie to life in audio form. So is there another reason?

Even though Eugene was almost immediately smitten with his radio buddy, leading audiences to believe that all was well there, is it possible that The Walking Dead will find a way to buck expectations by introducing Margot Bingham as a character other than Stephanie? Could she have provided a false name as a ruse to gauge Eugene's threat level? Considering Stephanie was a well-liked character among comic fans, it would be a weird creative choice to make, but it's not outside the TWD wheelhouse to veer hard like that.

Without giving too much away from the comics that might correlate with the TV show, Stephanie serves as the connective tissue between the established comic protagonists and the mega-community The Commonwealth, where viewers will likely meet a host of new and complicated characters. It's presumed that will be the next major destination found by Eugene, Yumiko, Ezekiel and the chatty newcomer Princess. But at this point, showrunner Angela Kang and her creative team might have figured out a way to put a clever spin on how to introduce Stephanie and her comic setting. I can't imagine she'll end up being villainous, but it's not like Eugene has been the luckiest dude in the world so far.

While Margot Bingham could possibly return to NBC's New Amsterdam when it returns for Season 3, that seems less likely now that she's got a larger gig on The Walking Dead. The actress can also be seen at some point in the future in the short film Pizza Party, which has not yet been released.

The Walking Dead still hasn't officially ended yet, with the long-awaited finale still awaiting a finalized production status so that it can at last air on AMC, complete with Lauren Cohan's return as Maggie. Until that time comes, stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more from the zombified universe. Check out the shows that are (for now) confirmed to be on the way in the coming months with our Summer 2020 TV schedule and our Fall 2020 premiere guide.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.