The Walking Dead is taking the show on the road for its eleventh and final season, starting with a "big and scary" two-part premiere. Filming is now underway in Georgia on the 24-episode Season 11, which will air across three parts beginning later in 2021 and conclude in late 2022. After a smaller scale extended Season 10, consisting of the six new bonus episodes that were the first filmed amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Epic Final Season of The Walking Dead is a return to bigger episodes when the ensemble of zombie apocalypse survivors set out in search of endgame: the Commonwealth.
"We're shooting [Season 11 episodes] one and two right now, it's a two-part episode, a two-part premiere. What can I say? It's going back to [being] scary, it's scary," Jim Barnes, a writer-producer behind horror-tinged Season 10 episodes "Ghosts" and "A Certain Doom," told the Talk Dead to Me podcast. "We're making a concerted effort to put that back into, especially these first two or three, and actually all throughout [the season]. We're exploring things and doing things that I haven't seen done on the show before, which is really exciting. Just different set pieces and locations, and the fact that we're pulling it off during the pandemic is a testament to the crew in Georgia, it's incredible. It's big, I think I can say that."
After Season 1 put Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his group on the road to the CDC, and Seasons 4 and 5 took the survivors on a search for sanctuary that brought them to Terminus and then Alexandria, "We're kind of getting back to a road show vibe for a minute."
"I love Season 1 and 4, I think those are my top two seasons of the show with Terminus and the CDC. That vibe is in there," Barnes said. "I'm really excited to see what people think of [Season] 11. I think people are going to be surprised in a good way."
The biggest hint towards Season 11 was the cliffhanger ending of October's "A Certain Doom," where Eugene's (Josh McDermitt) group of travelers is apprehended by the Stormtrooper-looking soldiers of the Commonwealth. Episode 1020, "Splinter," part of the extended Season 10, is "just the tip of the iceberg."
"There's a whole big story to be played, there are more characters within that group to meet," showrunner Angela Kang teased during The Walking Dead Extended Season 10 Preview Special. "But we will start to get into them a bit, get a sense of their vibe and what they're about, through our characters' perspective. But there's so much more cool story to come in Season 11."
Season 10 of The Walking Dead returns with new episodes Sunday, February 28, on AMC. Follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter for all things TWD.