The Walking Dead Director Greg Nicotero Says First Two Episodes of Season 10 Are “Pretty Badass”

The first two episodes of The Walking Dead Season 10 are “pretty badass,” according to longtime executive producer Greg Nicotero, who directed both episodes.

“I directed the first two episodes of Walking Dead, and they’re pretty badass. I can’t wait,” Nicotero said when attending opening night of Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood, where Nicotero participated in a ‘Behind the Screams’ panel with event lead creatives John Murdy and Chris Williams, director Eli Roth and guitarist Slash.

According to episode descriptions surfaced online earlier in the week, the Season 10 opener, “Lines We Cross,” finds the survivors training with the Oceanside community to prepare for the return of the nomadic and territorial Whisperers. Episode 10x02, “We Are the End of the World,” explores the origin of the bonds between Whisperer leader Alpha (Samantha Morton) and viciously loyal number-two Beta (Ryan Hurst) as the Whisperers gather and prepare walker herds.

Nicotero helped create “some of the stuff that look-wise, feel-wise is unique to the start of Season 10,” showrunner Angela Kang told EW when previewing this next season premiere that catches up with Daryl (Norman Reedus), Michonne (Danai Gurira) and the other survivors after a months-long time jump that brings “unexpected” developments.

For Nicotero, a veteran on the zombie drama since its first season in 2010, its tenth season “feels new and it feels fresh,” Nicotero said at San Diego Comic-Con in July.

“The opening three minutes is unlike anything we’ve ever done. You’re not gonna be sure what show you’re watching for the first 30 seconds,” Nicotero added of the season premiere penned by Kang. “But it constantly challenges me, this show.”

Nicotero also teased this season “opens with a bang.”

“We have a big cast and we’re constantly reminding ourselves we need to pay tribute to you guys, we need to put some great episodes out there, and thank you guys for continuing to watch. So in pure Walking Dead fashion, it opens with a bang,” he said. “It was a great experience and as the show gets bigger, we use more tools to tell the story, and there’s a lot of really, really epic shots that show the world, and show the scope of what our people have become in the interim of the snow episode.”

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And in its intent, Nicotero added, TWD “gets bigger, and bigger and bigger.”

It is now Spring, a few months after the end of Season 9, when our group of survivors dared to cross into Whisperer territory during the harsh winter. The collected communities are still dealing with the effects of Alpha’s horrific display of power, reluctantly respecting the new borderlines being imposed on them, all while organizing themselves into a militia-style fighting force, preparing for a battle that may be unavoidable. But the Whisperers are a threat unlike any they have ever faced. Backed by a massive horde of the dead, the Whisperers are seemingly a fight the survivors cannot win. The question of what to do and the fear it breeds will infect the communities and give rise to paranoia, propaganda, secret agendas, and infighting that will test them as individuals and as a society. The very idea of whether civilization can survive in a world filled with the dead hangs in the balance.

The Nicotero-directed premiere of The Walking Dead Season 10 airs on AMC Sunday, October 6.