Lauren Cohan and Jeffrey Dean Morgan have wrapped filming on the pilot episode of The Walking Dead spinoff show Isle of the Dead. Cohan and Morgan, who return as rivals Maggie and Negan in the post-apocalyptic New York City-set series, announced they've completed the first episode during Sunday's live The Walking Dead Universe Preview 2022 special. In March, AMC Networks announced it greenlit the new series from showrunner Eli Jorné and executive producer Scott M. Gimple as a six-episode first season set to premiere on AMC+ and AMC in 2023.
"We can't wait for you to see it. We just wrapped the first episode," Cohan announced in a video message aired on Talking Dead. "Love to give you all kinds of spoilers, but you know we can't be doing that. But stuff has obviously happened for [Maggie and Negan], for these two people in conflict. Suffice it to say, it's thrilling."
Cohan added: "It's everything you probably want and more, and we cannot wait for you to see it."
Moving from the rural woods of Virginia to the urban setting of New York is "something that, certainly, our viewers have never seen," Morgan teased. "It's certainly something that Maggie and Negan have never faced. So I'm very excited for everybody to see what we've been working on here. These six episodes are gonna knock your socks off."
Loren Yaconelli, who helmed a Season 11 episode of Walking Dead and several episodes of The Walking Dead: World Beyond, directed the pilot from a script by Jorné. Isle started production late last month on location in New Jersey and will be the first Walking Dead series to shoot in New York.
New York City is "10 years-plus into the apocalypse," executive producer Gimple, who is overseeing the series as AMC's Chief Content Officer of The Walking Dead Universe, said on Talking Dead. "It is crumbling, it is chaotic. It has its own cultures, it has its own warring factions. It's a madhouse and [Maggie and Negan] enter it and get swept up into the madhouse."
Swarming the streets of New York are plagues of rats and a herd of one million walkers, forcing its denizens to traverse the city mostly by zip line. Echoing Cohan's comments, Gimple said, "There's a lot of conflict, there's a lot of action. There are zip lines, the walkers are insane. The rats in that city are insane."
Joining Cohan and Morgan are previously announced cast members and Walking Dead newcomers Gaius Charles (Friday Night Lights, Grey's Anatomy) as Perlie Armstrong, Željko Ivanek (Law & Order, Madam Secretary) as The Croat, Jonathan Higginbotham (The Blacklist, Shining Vale) as Tommaso, and Mahina Napoleon (NCIS: Hawai'i) as Ginny.
Isle of the Dead is one of three Walking Dead spinoffs set to premiere in 2023. AMC Studios is developing the untitled Daryl Dixon solo series, which stars Norman Reedus and takes place in France, and the untitled Rick Grimes and Michonne series reuniting Andrew Lincoln and Danai Gurira.