Is Steven Yeun’s movie casting a sign he is off ‘The Walking Dead’?

Glenn is now a serious bad-ass on "The Walking Dead." CREDIT: AMC

Glenn is now a serious bad-ass on “The Walking Dead.” CREDIT: AMC

By RODNEY HO/ rho@ajc.com, originally filed Thursday, April 28, 2016

Steven Yeun, who has played Glenn since season one of “The Walking Dead,” has been cast in a Netflix film “Okja,” the new movie from “Snowpiercer” director Bong Joon-Ho.

According to moviefone.com, production began April 22, with filming set for South Korea (where Yeun was born), Canada, and the United States.

If it’s a small role, Yeun might be able to squeeze that in while also shooting “The Walking Dead,” which begins production in metro Atlanta for season seven on May 2. He was cast after production began so it’s likely his role will be modest.

But it could also be a clue his “Walking Dead” character might have been the target of evil Negan’s bat in the April 3 finale. The producers decided to keep who Negan offed a secret until this fall, a move not everybody liked. Any one of at least 10 characters could be dead though Glenn is clearly one of the primary targets.

To make matters worse, Glenn was already “almost” killed twice last season.

In the graphic novel, Nagen did batter Glenn to death with his bat, which he names Lucille. But the show doesn’t always follow the novels.

Other actors in the past clued their eventual departures from the show by being cast in other TV productions, including Tyler James Williams (Noah) in a CBS “Criminal Minds” spinoff “Beyond Borders” and Chad Coleman (Tyreese) in Syfy’s “The Expanse.”

The problem: “The Walking Dead” is shot many months in advance of the airing of the episodes. The show needs the lead time to ensure the zombie kills look good.

But it also can’t tie actors down once they are dropped from the show. Actors need to work.

Existing cast members have done movies in the past but typically squeeze them in the off season. Norman Reedus was able to do a film “Triple Nine” while juggling “The Walking Dead” because it was produced in Atlanta.

“The Walking Dead” is tough to shoot but it has a vast cast.  Even primary cast members such as Reedus and Andrew Lincoln get some time off since there are frequently episodes focused on just a handful of characters.

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