Julia Ormond is the real strength of The Walking Dead: World Beyond

Julia Ormond as Elizabeth - The Walking Dead: World Beyond _ Season 1 - Photo Credit: Zach Dilgard/AMC
Julia Ormond as Elizabeth - The Walking Dead: World Beyond _ Season 1 - Photo Credit: Zach Dilgard/AMC /

Julia Ormond is bringing a new, enigmatic leader to The Walking Dead universe — and the success of World Beyond rests on her capable shoulders.

Ever since the Civic Republic Military (CRM) was introduced to The Walking Dead universe back in season eight, there’s been much speculation about their intentions and world-building strategy. The Walking Dead: World Beyond gives us a deep dive into this mysterious organization, which goes around in clandestine helicopters and whisked away Rick Grimes at the end of season nine. World Beyond introduces us to its enigmatic leader, Elizabeth Kubleck, portrayed by Julia Ormond.

After reviewing the first two screeners of The Walking Dead: World Beyond, I can tell you that Ms. Ormond is a formidable presence and carries the enigmatic weight of the new series. She plays each scene without giving away her true feelings or motives. World Beyond’s showrunner Matt Negrete talked to Entertainment Weekly about Ormond’s captivating role on the TWD spin-off.

[Julia Ormond is] “the face of this organization,” noting that she is central to the new world order’s plans for the zombie-decimated universe.

“She’s amazing,” Negrete further stated. “So I am looking forward to do ramping back up production for season two and working with her again.”

It’s no surprise that Ormond is generating incredible buzz in her character on World Beyond. A highly gifted actress, Ormond has the ability to bring rich layers to every role she approaches. Her performance as Smilla Jasperson in Smilla’s Sense of Snow ranks among one of my favorites, and the film is a treasured addition to my library.

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Advance word is that Ormond’s character is potentially as dangerous as The Walking Dead villains Negan and the Governor — perhaps even more frightening because you don’t perceive it at first. But don’t get too comfortable with her on the show; she will certainly surprise you.

The Walking Dead: World Beyond starts out slow, but you get a sense that the series is building to something grander, giving us a glimpse into the mysterious organizations that will ultimately determine the focus of the post-apocalypse.

According to TWD boss Scott Gimple, “[The CRM is] a huge part of the show. We find out a great deal about them. They are a very mysterious force. Their security and the community they keep secure are incredibly secretive. Regardless, we go into that community a little bit… we straight up meet people from the CRM… we see Elizabeth… it explains a lot about what we’ve seen on the other shows.”

Much of that secretive, mysterious trajectory stems from the charismatic, formidable woman who leads the CRM.

"“She’s another kind of community leader,” described Ormond at the TWD: World Beyond Comic-Con@Home panel. “She’s more in the pragmatic zone. For me, the pragmatism that some of the characters have is really about devoting yourself to the future of the human race — not even the planet. The planet is going to survive, but it’s the human race that’s at risk. What role do you take? What tactics do you sign up for? The buck has to stop somewhere.”"

You can read more into detail of her characterization (and about the talented actress who plays her) on the AMC blog here.

But what is the real agenda of the CRM and Elizabeth’s in particular? Julia Ormond provided some insight in a recent Decider interview:

"“There’s a political philosophy or conclusion that is driving this person that’s part of the military, in terms of an executed agenda, or executing an agenda,” Ormond said. “And then there’s the individual that Elizabeth is within that context. It’s going to take, I think, or I hope, until the very end for you to really have a conclusion around what the agenda is and whether it’s for the better. For good, or for nefarious reasons.”"

Audiences know that the CRM likely has Rick Grimes, which brings hope that World Beyond could coincide with the upcoming Grimes movies. Ormond was asked that at the SDCC@Home panel and the actress gave a perfectly ambiguous answer.

“If Elizabeth knows where Rick is, I’m not sure that she would tell you. And if Elizabeth tells you, I’m not sure that you should believe her.”

Next. 10 things to expect from The Walking Dead season 10 finale. dark

The Walking Dead: World Beyond premieres on AMC on Sunday, October 4. Are you excited to watch the new spin-off? Do you think Elizabeth will turn out to be a scary villain?