The Walking Dead leading man Norman Reedus wants the zombie drama to "go out big" with its eleventh and final season airing next year on AMC. Reedus and other Walking Dead cast members have returned to Georgia to prepare for filming on the six new bonus episodes extending Season 10 into early 2021, to focus on the aftermath of the Whisperer War wrapped up in Sunday's original season finale. From there, drawing from material from the final stretch of creator Robert Kirkman's concluded comic book, the show will pick up from the season finale's cliffhanger ending for The Walking Dead's expanded two-year final season spanning 24 episodes.
"I'm feeling anxious. We're done with the comic, the comic is over. I want to go out like we came in. I want us to go out big and swing for the fences," Reedus said during Sunday's virtual Talking Dead. "I'm sure we will. We always do. I feel like we owe it to ourselves, to the crew, to just frickin' nail it this year."
As The Walking Dead moves towards its endgame, Reedus said, "All the doors are wide open. We have a bible to stick to. I feel like it's going to be an amazing last season."
The final stretch of episodes follows the highest-rated seasons of The Walking Dead in the show's decade-long history. Both the ninth and tenth seasons, which found new life under showrunner Angela Kang, are tied on Rotten Tomatoes at 91%.
Cast and crew are now days away from production on the bonus episodes designed for safe filming amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The new season would have begun production months ago, but the Walking Dead set entered into hibernation as part of industry-wide shutdowns in March.
"We're waiting for scripts to come. I know the studio has been worked on and we are COVID-ready," added Melissa McBride, who plays Carol. "We've got protocols in place, so everybody's going to be safe. It's been a long wait."
She continued, "I'm ready, I'm excited to see everyone. It's gonna be very different."
After the final season concludes in late 2022, Reedus and McBride will reunite in an untitled spinoff set to air in 2023. Described as a lighter and more hopeful "road-show," the new series continues the story of The Walking Dead with a focus on Daryl and Carol in a new corner of the zombie apocalypse.
The Walking Dead returns with new episodes early next year on AMC. For all things TWD, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.