The Walking Dead star Jeffrey Dean Morgan says it's "a big waiting game to see what's gonna happen" after network AMC pushed back production on the eleventh season of the zombie drama amid the coronavirus crisis. Season 11 was just weeks away from its spring shooting start when AMC postponed physical production on the new season and shut down filming on the sixth season of spinoff Fear the Walking Dead, also delaying The Walking Dead Season 10 finale when it became clear required post-production work on the special effects-heavy episode could not be completed before its planned April 12 air date.
"We had finished Season 10 shooting wise, and we were airing the episodes, and what happened was the last episode couldn't air because they were unable to finish the editing on it. So the season finale, episode 16, we don't know when that will air," Morgan said on Live with Kelly and Ryan while promoting new video chat-based AMC show Friday Night In with The Morgans. "I'm hoping in the next couple months you'll see the season finale of the show."
When Morgan learned work on the next season of The Walking Dead would be starting later than usual, the actor had less than three weeks left of shooting on a new movie — the Sam Raimi produced horror-thriller Shrine — when production was shut down in Boston.
"As far as The Walking Dead and the next season, no one knows when and where and how and if," Morgan said. "It's a big waiting game to see what's gonna happen."
The Walking Dead films in Georgia — which plans to reopen certain businesses as early as Friday, April 24 — but studio operations are not included in that initial re-start. Work on the new season will begin when it's safe to do so.
Writing on Season 11 is continuing remotely under showrunner Angela Kang, who told ComicBook.com work on the Greg Nicotero-directed Season 10 finale was "very, very close" to finishing before California shut down for business.
"I think actually, by the time the world is safe for people to start venturing out, probably all of the effects will be done, and then it's just a handful of processes and it can be turned around very, very quickly," Kang said of the delayed Season 10 finale, "A Certain Doom," airing sometime later this year. "We're very hopeful that we can get it all done very rapidly once we're back up and running."
Former showrunner turned chief content officer Scott Gimple previously provided an update after all three Walking Dead shows entered into various stages of pause, including the postponed series premiere of new spinoff The Walking Dead: World Beyond, telling The Hollywood Reporter:
"We're just monitoring everything with the advice from government, and even stronger than advice in most cases, to make sure everyone is healthy and safe," Gimple said. "Like everyone else, once we're given the all clear, we're ready to roar back. Just like with everybody else, it's this weird moment of pause. There are so many people who work on these shows. Between the three shows, we're talking about [numbering] in the thousands. We want everyone safe and healthy. That's the deal. We all have to pull together to make sure everyone is safe and healthy."
Between the three shows, the Walking Dead Universe was on track to air over consecutive 40 weeks of new content before those plans were disrupted by COVID-19.
Kang has described Season 11 as having an urban feel mixed with western and thriller elements and the new season, which may not meet its expected October 2020 premiere date, will reinstate longtime Walking Dead star Lauren Cohan as a series regular.
The Walking Dead next airs the Season 10 finale, "A Certain Doom," as a special episode later this year. For all things TWD, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.