SECRET IDENTITY: Who Should Play The Governor On 'The Walking Dead' TV Series?

The GovernorIf you thought Merle Dixon was bad, just wait until you get a load of the Governor.

In "The Walking Dead," the Governor is the ruler of an enclosed community known as Woodbury. But lest you think Woodbury is a sanctuary for all non-zombies, think again: it's a place where men are thrown into gladiatorial combat against the flesh-eating walkers, all in an effort to entertain the masses. That's just one of the many twisted and evil acts that the Governor is capable of, with other offenses including chopping off hands, raping women and molesting zombie children.

Needless to say, the Governor is bad people — but that also means he's compelling as all hell. The Governor's involvement in the "Walking Dead" TV series is not just a necessity, it's an inevitability. After the jump, check out five actors we can see as the ruthless villain.

Jason LeeJason Lee

It might seem like bizarre casting, but hey, if Bob Odenkirk can do what he does so well on "Breaking Bad," why can't a comedian like Jason Lee catch a break on "The Walking Dead?" The Governor is less an evil genius and more an evil coward, someone who says and does unpredictable things all in an effort to save his own skin. Lee could play that in spades, delivering a surprising turn given the types of roles he's usually offered. Lee's recognizable face might be working against him for the role, but if viewers could accept him in the part, we think he would be a surprisingly terrifying Governor.

John HawkesJohn Hawkes

The "Deadwood" and "Lost" veteran tends to play the quirky sidekick role, but he's got what it takes to play the Governor. He's a wiry character, a broken man with some definite intelligence that's far outweighed by his arrogance, cowardice and paranoia, and these are all qualities that John Hawkes could bring to the role, not to mention a physical resemblance to the character.

Michael KellyMichael Kelly

Already familiar with the zombie genre due to his work as CJ in "Dawn of the Dead," Michael Kelly is a solid and underestimated pick for the Governor. Although he's not the best known face on this list, Kelly's "Dead" character demonstrated enough of the flaws that the Governor possesses that we think it could work. On top of that, Kelly's casting would be a nice wink and nod to another well-respected zombie property.

Rhys CoiroRhys Coiro

Best known for playing outside-the-box filmmaker Billy Walsh on "Entourage," it's only a matter of time before Rhys Coiro gets his big break as a memorable villain. The Governor could be that role, as Coiro not only has the right look for the classic "Walking Dead" villain, but also all of the mania and mayhem that comes with the character. Coiro would be a great pick for the part.

Robert KnepperRobert Knepper

As T-Bag on "Prison Break" and Samuel on "Heroes," Robert Knepper already has two iconic villains to his name. It's a daunting task, but we think he could top both of those baddies as the Governor. A wonderfully gifted actor with an overload of danger in his eyes, Knepper is the best there is at what he does — and what he does isn't very nice. He would be perfect as the Governor.

Tell us who you would cast as the Governor in the comments section and on Twitter!