Gone Girl co-star and Deadwood alumnus Kim Dickens has been cast as the female lead in the upcoming Walking Dead spinoff. She’ll be playing guidance counselor Nancy Tompkins, a single mom trying to keep her kids safe in the glittering, temptation-fueled world of Los Angeles, a city full of drugs, sex, and shambling, flesh-devouring human corpses.
But watch out, guidance counselor fetishists: According to Deadline, Nancy may look like “the girl next door,” but she has “a darkness to her, a troubled past that will come back to haunt her.” “What could this tantalizing enigma be?!” we ask, just as the show’s publicist intended by writing such a provocative, mystery-word-filled description. “What is Nancy’s dark secret?!” we scream into the night, haunted by this fictional woman and her forbidden closet of mystery. Is she a former Mafia hitwoman? A secret Dracula, protecting her half-Dracula children (the already-cast Alycia Debnam Carey and Frank Dillane) from the harsh light of day and the harsher teeth of zombies? Did she have a supporting role in the awful Kevin-Bacon-as-an-invisible-rapist thriller Hollow Man? Nancy Tompkins is a labyrinth, and her secret is a minotaur that chases us through its crumbling, blood-stained halls.
Dickens will be co-starring in the spinoff—still known only by its code name, Cobalt—alongside Cliff Curtis, playing Nancy’s boyfriend Sean. Curits’ character is a dark-secret-free teacher and father, working with Nancy to keep their children safe during the zombie plague. At least he will be, until the the first season finale that exists in our imagination, when Nancy is forced to drink his blood and share it with her children, completing their transformations into sunlight-immune Daywalkers. (This probably will not happen in the actual show.)