"I've been giving kudos to [showrunner] Angela [Kang] for a year for her impeccable casting choices," Nicotero told ComicBook.com. "Because I really feel like she is taking the show to a whole new level with her casting. And with Samantha, Samantha showed up, man, she literally was like, this is a role of a lifetime to be able to play this character that is so nuanced, and has such depth and such complexity to it."
Morton's character appeared in the final shot of "Adaptation," in a scene that mimicked her comic debut in Issue 132. As a couple of stragglers from the Hilltop approached what they thought was one of the walkers, it turned out to be Alpha, who then pulled out a shotgun while warning, "the trail ends here." It was a very ominous scene that doesn't bode well for Hilltop and its neighbors, also giving the franchise a visually terrifying and intimidating villain.
"We've talked about putting a bald cap on her, shaving her head. I had some friends in London do a head cast, and then they shipped the head cast to LA, and we designed Alpha's mask, you know what I mean?" Nicotero added. "Just the design of the Whisperer masks themselves, was something that we were really excited about because it gives you that opportunity to create these faceless emotionless killers."
So far, their designs and the way they're able to camouflage have been very sinister, which allowed Alpha's followers to kill Jesus and send a warning to Daryl, Michonne and company in the field of battle. With the heroes subsequently taking Alpha's daughter, Lydia, as a prisoner, it's clear that Season 9's epic Whisperer War is only just heating up.
Airing Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on AMC, The Walking Dead stars Norman Reedus, Danai Gurira, Melissa McBride, Alanna Masterson, Josh McDermitt, Christian Serratos, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Nadia Hilker, Dan Fogler, Angel Theory, Lauren Ridloff and Eleanor Matsuura.