The Walking Dead star Michael Cudlitz, who played fan-favorite Abraham Ford, makes his return to the zombie drama as director in 10x04, “Silence the Whisperers.” Cudlitz made his directorial debut in Season 9 episode “Stradivarius,” and his next behind-the-camera effort marks the first of two Cudlitz-directed episodes in Season 10, where the survivors are entrenched in a Cold War-like conflict against the territorial Whisperers. Following Alpha’s (Samantha Morton) claim to more land that threatens to cut off the survivors’ hunting grounds, Alexandria is vandalized with propaganda urging the community to “Silence the Whisperers.” At the Hilltop colony, now merged with the shuttered Kingdom and led by King Ezekiel (Khary Payton), the farming community finds itself flooded by a seemingly endless stream of walkers.
“Michael Cudlitz came back and directed this next episode for us. It’s one of the two he did this season. I think he did an amazing job, and we really get into the Hilltop part of the story now. So, we’ve been bouncing back and forth,” showrunner Angela Kang told EW. “We were at Oceanside, we really dealt with being out in the world. We’ve seen what the Whisperers are up to. We really kind of focused on this group at Alexandria, and now we do a little bit of a dive into what the folks at Hilltop are dealing with.”
Despite the distance in-between the allied communities, Hilltop isn’t spared from the growing tensions and paranoia now plaguing Alexandria.
“They are also having their own issues with the paranoia that comes with being targeted by the Whisperers and just the things that play out there,” Kang teased. “And I’ve got to say, Michael has one of my favorite shots in the season. I think people will know when they see it, but just some very cool fighting stuff that I thought he did an amazing job with. There’s some cool stuff ahead.”
In addition to his work on the mothership series, Cudlitz also serves as director on AMC’s still-untitled third Walking Dead series created by TWD chief content officer and Matthew Negrete. The spinoff is set roughly a decade post-apocalypse, putting it in sync with present action on Season 10, and centers on the first generation raised after the fall of civilization. That series is set to debut on the network in Spring 2020.