As the actor describes it, he has been campaigning for the role of The Governor himself, telling executive producer and longtime friend Greg Nicotero that he was tailor made for the role. And it's true. The character in the graphic novel does look suspiciously like Tom Savini, who famously slaughtered zombies in the original 1978 Dawn Of The Dead, and then went onto direct a pretty good remake of Night of the Living Dead.
Quite frankly, Tom Savini would be perfect for the part.
But, AMC is going after a name, and that name is John Hawkes, seen in Deadwood and Winter's Bone.
Here's what Tom Savini had to say.
"When am I going to be on The Walking Dead? I should be the governor on that damn thing! Listen, I have been campaigning to be the governor on that damn thing with Greg Nicotero for over a year. Everytime I see the graphic novel, and I see a picture of The Governor, who looks just like me, I send Greg a picture. I just won't give up. Last time I talked to him about it, when I was in Los Angeles, he said they were going after a name for that part. I said, "Who?" He said John Hawkes.
Well, I never heard of John Hawkes. But then he reminds me that we were in From Dusk Till Dawn together. He is the guy at the beginning in the store that fires on them. Apparently he was up for an Academy Award. He was up for something called Winter's Bone. That's whom they are going after for The Governor. But everyone I talk to, the people that read the graphic novels...They've all said that I would be the perfect governor. Because he is tough and brutal. And...I look just like the graphic depiction of him!"
Is The Governor in the comics actually based on Tom Savini?
"I've never heard it confirmed that it was based on me. I wish the writers and the producers would remember that if I was. Because I'm available, and I want to do it. Tell everyone to vote: Tom Savini for Governor on The Walking Dead!"
We'll have more as this casting story breaks in the near future.