'The Walking Dead': 5 candidates for the Governor

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governor-candidates-twd.jpg "The Walking Dead" returns to AMC on Sunday after a winter hiatus and we pretty much know where the season will begin: outside the barn where Rick Grimes ( Andrew Lincoln) just shot zombie Sofia. Instead of speculating on the rest of Season 2, though, we want to weigh in on a Season 3 debate that has been raging online for the past week: Who should play the Governor?

For anyone who hasn't read the Robert Kirkman comic books, the Governor is a total psychopath who has fashioned himself as the head of a colony of survivors and gets his kicks by making people fight in a sort of gladiator's ring surrounded by zombies. As we reported, John Hawkes' name has been bandied about as a possible Governor, along with special effects makeup artist Tom Savini.

A rep for Hawkes, though, denies that the actor is joining the show even though it is universally agreed that he would be perfect for playing the cold-blooded megalomaniac.

Since Hawkes is (for now) out of the running, we offer these 5 candidates for the Governor's race.

1. Michael Rooker: Yes, he's already been on the show as Daryl's older brother, Merle and probably dead. But this is TV, folks, where people magically live to fight (and kill) another day. And, since the show has already wildly diverged from the comic books, why not have Merle end up as the sadistic Governor? He's certainly got the resume and it could really tee Norman Reedus up for some interesting character conflict.

2. Danny Trejo: Don't recognize the name? Well, maybe you're more familiar with his on-screen alter-ego, "Machete." Seriously, the guy is one bad mamma jamma. He'd make a swell Gov.

3. Sam Elliott: Usually he plays nice guys hidden beneath a gruff exterior, for instance as a legendary bouncer in "Road House" opposite Patrick Swayze. But maybe just this once his gruff exterior could be masking a charming lunatic?

4. Terry O'Quinn: "Lost" fans would literally lose their collective, umm... minds. And we know he has the chops.

5. Katee Sackhoff: Who says the Governor has to be a dude? We'd love to see the "Battlestar Galactica" alumna get all dark and twisted on us. We double-dog dare you, showrunner Glen Mazzara.

Who would you choose?


Photo/Video credit: Image Comics/Archive