The Walking Dead star Michael Cudlitz is returning to the AMC series as a director in Season Nine.
Cudlitz, who played fan-favorite character Abraham Ford through three seasons, will be directing the seventh episode of The Walking Dead's ninth season, ComicBook.com has learned from sources involved with the show. Since departing The Walking Dead in its Season Seven premiere where Abraham was killed brutally by Negan, Cudlitz's has only gained popularity.
"They almost all grow after they have left the show because I think that's when people look at your character and think of you on your own, when you're no longer with the group," Cudlitz said at a Walker Stalker convention. "We start saying, 'Oh, I miss Hershel. What would Hershel do now?' Or, 'Could you imagine if Merle were around during this?' We sort of infuse the characters after they leave into situations now as opposed to seeing everyone who's there. I think they grow their own popularity after they leave because everyone always wonders what that character would do. They realize, 'Oh, Maggie's going through a lot of stuff right now, how would she process that with Glenn?' It's interesting, and you guys do that. You take it to this whole other level and we feel it on our end, so it's pretty humbling."
Cudlitz has kept busy since leaving The Walking Dead, landing a new series on ABC from Last Man Standing's Tim Doyle. The project will be set in the 1970s and revolve around an Irish-Catholic family with a working-class dad, which is where Cudlitz comes in. Other characters include a traditional mom and "eight boisterous sons "who navigate changes big and small during one of America’s most turbulent decades," according to Deadline's report.
Cudlitz also made an appearance in the Kings of Con online series and the TV movie The Trustee. Recently, his character was referenced on Fear the Walking Dead which is in the midst of a crossover with The Walking Dead, where his character was revealed to have crossed paths with Maggie Grace's Althea.
While no star of The Walking Dead has previously directed an episode of the series, Fear the Walking Dead allowed its Victor Strand actor Colman Domingo to direct the upcoming twelfth episode of its fourth season, exclusively reported by Comicbook.com in May.
The Walking Dead will return for its ninth season in the fall. Fear the Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 pm ET on AMC, returning for the second half of its fourth season on August 12th. For complete coverage and insider info all year long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.