The Walking Dead returns this summer with the start of a final season that gets back to the "usual scope and scale" fans expect after a decade of the Dead, says showrunner Angela Kang. After the coronavirus pandemic delayed the original special effects-heavy Season 10 finale by six months and pushed production on Season 11 into early 2021, Kang and the Walking Dead writers' room got to work on six bonus episodes extending the tenth season with smaller-scale stories focused on characters like Daryl (Norman Reedus), Carol (Melissa McBride), Maggie (Lauren Cohan), and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). With filming underway on the 24-episode final season, Walking Dead will be bigger than ever when new episodes begin airing August 22:
"Just in very broad terms, I'll say that Season 11, we get to come back more of our usual scope and scale that people are used to," Kang told Entertainment Weekly. "So we'll start seeing more stories again like the first episode — it's got everybody on earth in the episode. And tons of zombies and lots of action and fun and intrigue, and locations we've never seen, and things like that. So just stylistically, there will be a change from these six [episodes] that we just watched back into our normal season."
The six episodes, which included an origin story for Negan and flashbacks to Daryl's years-long search for the missing Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), were the first episodes filmed with new health and safety protocols in place over a six-week shoot in Georgia. Kang and Walking Dead chief content officer Scott Gimple have both promised an expanded season that kicks off with eight action-packed episodes that are bigger than ever before.
Fans can anticipate learning more about the white-armored soldiers who captured Eugene (Josh McDermitt), King Ezekiel (Khary Payton), Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura), and Princess (Paola Lazaro) during their expedition to meet a new community, as well as learning what becomes of the long-missing Connie (Lauren Ridloff), who finally turned up alive in October's "A Certain Doom."
"We'll be dealing with the new group that our foursome of Eugene, Ezekiel, Princess, and Yumiko ran across and that starts to open up their world in bigger and unexpected ways. Then of course we've got to see that Connie is still alive at the end of episode 16, so we still got that thread out there to deal with," Kang teased. "We've got some great stories at Alexandria, as they're dealing with the aftermath of this Whisperer war and things start to amp up even further. Then it all keeps rolling from there."
Follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter for all things TWD. The Final Season of The Walking Dead begins Sunday, August 22, on AMC.