The Walking Dead star Jeffrey Dean Morgan has said the show’s creators “had no idea” that season 11 would have to be their last.
The actor, who plays Negan in the AMC series, revealed that the news that The Walking Dead would be ending came as a surprise to the whole cast and crew.
“The news, when we got it in the middle of the pandemic, was a complete surprise, not only to me and the rest of the actors, but to everybody involved in the show from production. [Chief content officer] Scott Gimple and [showrunner] Angela Kang had no idea either,” Morgan told Collider.
He added: “It came from nowhere and there was such a huge pivot. I think they had Season 11 all mapped out, where they were going to go, and suddenly it became, ‘We also have to close the story, in a way.’
“It took everybody by surprise, so it was a massive pivot. And then, they threw in the six tacked-on episodes to Season 10, and instead of doing 16, we’re going to do 24 more. There was a lot of stuff to wrap our heads around.”
The actor also explained that season 11 is likely to take a whole calendar year to shoot, having just completed the third episode after two months of production.
“It doesn’t feel like the end yet and I’m glad because that’s a long time to be thinking about the end,” he said. “We have another year here to shoot, and we’re shooting straight through. It’s brutal. But I know it’s there. It’s in the back of all of our heads that it’s there.”
The Walking Dead airs on AMC in the US and FOX in the UK. No release date for season 11 has yet been set.