"The great thing about it is it feels new and it feels fresh, and we're seeing our characters in very different lights," Nicotero said of the Season 10 opener, helmed by Nicotero and penned by Kang.
"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, and you're going to see a lot of it in the trailer that we're about to show. But it constantly challenges me, this show."
The near-decade old Walking Dead found new vigor under Kang, who shepherded the show to its highest-rated season on Rotten Tomatoes. And in Season 10, Nicotero added the team is committed to paying off that continued goodwill from fans.
"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."
That wintery Season 9 finale pit the survivors against a dangerous new enemy for the first time — a ferocious blizzard — at the time a monumental effort for the producers.
With the new season, Nicotero teased, "I feel like the show gets, in its intent, it gets bigger, and bigger and bigger."
Those efforts aren't just a tribute to the show's Georgia team — "They always pull it off," Nicotero said — but emerge in part because "the show never gets smaller."
"There's never an episode where it's two people in a room talking. There'll be two people in a room talking about the thousand zombies around them and then there's another room with 50,000 other people in it," Nicotero added.
"The writers have done an amazing job, we have a lot of new writers this season, and it's gonna be great."
Beyond the new struggles faced by our survivors this season — where they'll wrestle with trauma, paranoia and PTSD caused in part by the Whisperers — Kang teased a "pretty unique feel to the season" resulted in TWD going places its never gone.
"We're also having a lot of fun with the fact that the last time our people were in a war, it was automatic weapons and gunfire, but we're just not really in that period of time anymore. So we're working on some battle stuff that is unlike anything we've done on the show, which I'm super-excited about," Kang previously told EW.
"Nicotero has been in rehearsals for some stuff we're about to shoot that I think is pretty cool. That's some of the stuff that look-wise, feel-wise is unique to the start of season 10."