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As #AMC's #TheWalkingDead powers through its seventh season to the hotly anticipated Season 8, the casting rumors begin to swirl around who else could join the zombie apocalypse. ER's Maria Bello has signed up for a major role next year, and it won't be long before more potential zombie chow is introduced to #RobertKirkman's world. As the show grows to be the most-watched show on television, grabbing a ticket for the end of the world has become the goal of many an aspiring actor.
Everyone has their dream cast for TWD, but I bet one name you hadn't thought of was British icon John Cleese. The official Batman v Superman goes and follows him on Twitter and the whole internet goes mental that the charming chap could be joining the DCEU. I say forget DC, that's old hat. Get yourself over to AMC, Mr. Cleese, and see where the real action is.
Just imagine Cleese entering the fray of The Walking Dead, twirling his moustache and swinging a machete with equal menace. Just a fanboy's dream, or could this wild theory be actually based in any form of fact? Hold on to your rotting limbs, this is why Cleese would make the perfect addition to the show.
1. He is a fan of the show.
We already know that 77-year-old Cleese is a big fan of the show, so why not take the next step from appreciator to actor? At the start of 2016 you would have been laughed at for a theory that John Cleese would narrate a TWD recap. Flash forward to October and there is Cleese taking us on a quintessentially British tour of the show's first six seasons for Now TV. Just the way he pronounces Negan — no one could resist him shouting that across a zombie-filled wasteland.
2. He is friends with Greg Nicotero.
Move aside BvS Twitter, Instagram is where the real news is kept. The Walking Dead's SFX wizard Greg Nicotero recently shared a picture of him and Cleese from on the set of 1994's The Jungle Book (Cleese starred as Dr. Julius Plumford), before Nicotero went on to create some FX for Cleese's 1997 comedy Fierce Creatures. It seems a bit out of place for Nicotero to randomly bring up an image that is over 20 years old without some sort of prompt. Nicotero could definitely work some makeup wonder on Cleese, and having him as the ultimate Monty Python tribute walker would be a great way to grab headlines. However, I'm thinking a more long-term (and not deceased) role on the show.
3. He offers diversity.
One thing that TWD can be accused of is its lack of British accents — we may have Andrew Lincoln, but his true roots are hidden under him bellowing the word "Coral" 24/7. It may be a trivial thing, but we need some fair representation of the British Isles. Also, I'm not saying that the show is ageist, but the grey hair brigade is mainly confined to Melissa McBride's Carol. During the end of the world it looks like most people over the age of 60 were palmed off to the retirement home in the sky. With both Deanna and Hershel dead, we need some old blood in the ranks of the apocalypse. Cleese fits the bill as a blue-blooded British OAP.
5. He could be a new leader.
If you are keeping up and starting to get on board with the idea of John Cleese's zombie mission, the next question would be who could he play? Don't worry, I've got that one sussed too.
As AMC's show begins to overtake its source material we are into unknown territory, meaning Scott Gimple can pretty much do as he wants with whomever he wants. It looks like Season 7 will introduce us to the Oceanside colony, which is fairly new to Kirkman's comics. Introduced in Issue #139, it is a colony that relies on fishing to keep itself moving — Michonne went and spent a brief period there.
Whereas the rest of the survivor groups all have pretty big characters leading them, we still know nothing about who leads Oceanside. Imagine Cleese as a pompous group leader who slowly mellows to Rick and his group. The Oceanside group survive off the sea, and that could tie in with Cleese's character having a British naval background. It is all a pipe dream, but a damn good one at that.
5. He's an icon.
Unfortunately, The Walking Dead isn't (currently) known for its big name stars. Although some of the cast have had successful careers pre-show, most have been made much bigger by their time on The Walking Dead. Elsewhere, #HBO's #GameOfThrones is almost unrivaled by its acting talent — featuring A-listers like Diana Rigg, Jonathan Pryce, and now Jim Broadbent. Isn't it about time that AMC got some fine British talent on board to bolster its cast?
Over his 55 years of acting, Cleese has become a national treasure thanks to his part in the Monty Python troop. However, his recent roles have been less renowned, these days lending his vocals to animations like A.C.O.R.N.S.: Operation Crackdown, Trolls, and Charming. Apart from a few well-placed cameos, it is rare that we see Cleese in live action anymore. It is about time we gave Cleese something a little meatier to sink his teeth into, and nothing is meatier than the tainted flesh of The Walking Dead — batter up!