‘The Walking Dead’s Michael Cudlitz: Killing Abraham and Glenn in Same Episode “Not the Wisest Thing”

Michael Cudlitz, who starred as Abraham Ford before turning director on The Walking Dead seasons Nine and Ten, feels killing both Abraham and Glenn (Steven Yeun) in the Season Seven opener was “not the wisest thing.”

“I do think that what’s missing, that had been on the show, and I think they’re getting back to, is there’s an element of humor. And there’s an element of humor that Abraham brought to it, even in a serious situation, that I think is missing from the show,” Cudlitz told The IMDb Show.

“I always said, I personally thought it was not the wisest thing to take both Abraham and Glenn out in the same episode. It’s too much of a loss for the fans, for the audience. [Glenn’s] like the moral compass and the heart of the show at the time, even pulling Rick back, he was almost the Hershel whisperer — he’d also become that other side of him that was able to guide him, or at least help guide him.”

The euphemism-slinging Abraham was selected by Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) after the bat-swinging villain’s game of “Eeny, meeny, miny, moe,” which ended with Abraham’s gory execution at the end of Negan’s barbwire-wrapped baseball bat Lucille.

But when Daryl (Norman Reedus) stepped out of line to defend the traumatized and taunted Rosita (Christan Serratos), Abraham’s former lover, Negan punished the disobedience by killing Glenn in front of horrified wife Maggie (Lauren Cohan).

“And Abraham, from just a humor standpoint, he for the most part told it like it is,” Cudlitz added. “So to lose them both at the same time was, for me as a fan, was sort of like, ‘Oof, that’s rough.’”

Though Glenn’s death was true to the comic books — there Glenn was the sole victim of Negan’s lineup in issue #100 — the gruesome execution, which was also widely criticized by viewers who filed complaints with the FCC, was similarly regretted by Rick Grimes star Andrew Lincoln.

“We’ve been able to terrify people in film for 100 years without having to show an eyeball. When that happens, it diminishes what we’re trying to make, which in my mind’s eye is a family drama set in hell. It’s not a sort of B-movie gorefest,” Lincoln previously told the New York Times.

Though The Walking Dead has long delved into extreme violence “from time to time, with the zombies and the action sequences,” the star argued the Season Seven opener could have been more restrained.

“But when we’re dealing with losing somebody — and a very brutal, human kind of death — I think it’s just taste,” Lincoln said. “My taste is, I think it would be more disturbing just keeping the camera on Maggie’s face. And maybe that’s why I want to direct, because I want to make what I’ve been filming in my head.”

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Lincoln will make his first Walking Dead directorial effort this coming Season Ten, which will also see the return of Cudlitz as director. The first time director made his behind-the-camera debut on Season Nine episode “Stradivarius.”

The Walking Dead Season Ten is expected to launch this October on AMC.