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Former ‘Walking Dead’ star Chad L. Coleman to play gangster Tobias Church

Oliver Queen is going to go head-to-head with a new villain next season on Arrow that will likely vex him as both Green Arrow and as mayor of Star City. Chad L. Coleman, best known for playing Tyreese for three seasons on The Walking Dead, has joined the cast of Season 5 as ruthless gangster Tobias Church.

IGN describes Church as “an imposing gangster looking to unite the various criminal enterprises in Star City under his own singular command.” Earlier this month, reports indicated that producers were casting for a new character tentatively named “Anton Church,” whose description matches that Coleman’s new character.

At that time, Church was described as “a ruthless crime lord who sets out to fill the sizable void left by Damien Darhk and H.I.V.E. The initial casting notice describes him as an ‘apex predator’ who ‘cuts his way through the shadows’ by taking down ‘the biggest threat first.'”

Producers were said to be modelling Church’s character after Stringer Bell, the drug lord played by Idris Elba (Thor, Pacific Rim) on HBO’s The Wire. Ironically, Chad L. Coleman also starred on The Wire, in the role of Dennis “Cutty” Wise.

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In addition to The Walking Dead and The Wire, Coleman recently appeared in the Syfy series The Expanse as Fred Johnson and as Mingo in History’s Roots remake.

Tobias Church is slated to first appear in the Arrow Season 5 premiere and will recur throughout the season. He’ll join new characters Wild Dog, Vigilante, and Artemis.

Arrow returns on Wednesday, October 5, at 8/7c on The CW.