In an interview given several weeks ago but published this week, The Walking Dead executive producer, special effects supervisor, and director Greg Nicotero suggested that the production delay on the series would allow the writers the time to line their ducks up in a row and perhaps even better prepare for the Rick Grimes movie. The delay at this point, however, has extended into its third month, and there is no sign yet of production ramping up again. Meanwhile, the season finale of The Walking Dead is not likely to debut until the fall, along with the spin-off series The World Beyond.
In the meantime, AMC viewers can console themselves with Nicotero’s Creepshow reboot, which launched on Shudder but is currently re-airing on AMC. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Nicotero also spoke about the challenges that The Walking Dead, as well as other productions, will confront in a post-pandemic environment. Nicotero says that the changes on season 11 of The Walking Dead — production of which has been delayed indefinitely — will be “dramatic.”
“It’s going to be very interesting in terms of seeing how productions work and how things that we are so accustomed to doing on sets will change, and will change pretty dramatically,” Nicotero said. “The number of people you have on set will probably diminish, which might mean it will take a little bit longer, where instead of having 60 people on set you may have 35 or 40 people on set. I know the industry is working towards some sort of industry-wide guideline in terms of are we going to do box lunches and nobody takes a break and you shoot for 10 hours and that’s it.”
“No one’s really going to know,” he continued, “so it’s going to be a unique situation and definitely a brand-new world.”
Some restrictions have been lifted in Georgia, where The Walking Dead films, but more work obviously needs to be done to protect the cast and crew of a massive show like the AMC series. The Walking Dead will face even more challenges given the nature of the story, which often features literal hordes of zombies, which would complicate social distancing. Thankfully, the next chapter of The Walking Dead will move away from The Whisperers — and their zombie hordes — and toward The Commonwealth, which will feature its own host of problems, since it is meant to be a community with 50,000 people with its own sports stadium and live concerts, two things that are not allowed in our current environment.
Indeed, it’ll be interesting to see how The Walking Dead handles the next arc, or if the writers come up with a different storyline, a bridge until The Commonwealth arc that would be easier to manage under the current restrictions. The writers, after all, do have plenty of time to come up with alternate storylines, and the series has never had a problem separating characters for long stretches of time. Hell, season 11 could simply follow Connie trying to navigate her way out of the caves.