Jeffrey Dean Morgan's Negan Gives COVID-19 the Middle Finger in The Walking Dead Set Photo

Negan actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan puts up a middle finger in a new behind-the-scenes photo from the pandemic-proofed set of The Walking Dead's extended Season 10. The six bonus episodes, which filmed in October over a six-week shoot, are the first recorded under stringent coronavirus protocols implemented after the Georgia set of The Walking Dead spent much of 2020 shuttered by the pandemic. When early industry shutdowns indefinitely delayed filming on Season 11, ultimately pushing work on the new season to 2021, showrunner Angela Kang announced the six-episode Season 10C taking place after — and sometimes long before — the aftermath of the Whisperer War.

Newly-released set photos show Morgan, dressed in the prisoner's outfit Negan wears until he becomes a fugitive, wearing a face shield in-between takes; another photo shows Lauren Cohan posed with the young actor who plays Maggie's now eight-year-old son Hershel.

The AMC Studios production utilized thrice-weekly testing and mask-wearing zombie stunt performers when filming the bonus season, which limited the number of walker extras for these smaller-scale episodes designed for safe filming amid the pandemic.

"It basically was a months-long process for the production and for AMC to get everything up and running and safe," Kang explained during a Walking Dead panel at virtual New York Comic Con in October. "Everybody will have masks and face shields, they've done the trailers differently, there are sanitation stations everywhere. There are UV lights and air scrubbers and things on the stages. There's a former military infectious diseases specialist who is our health and safety supervisor. So it's an abundance of caution in every way."

Morgan, who is joined by wife Hilarie Burton Morgan for the Negan prequel episode revealing the flesh-and-blood Lucille, said AMC did a "really good job" keeping cast and crew safe during filming.

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"We've had to think a lot about how we tell the stories so that they're satisfying and dive into character and give a little bit of adventure, but being really creative about how many people we can have in a scene. How can you show things while keeping people a little bit distant whenever we can?" Kang said, adding: "I think our line producer and everybody on the crew of producers and the studio have been amazing. Every question has been, 'Okay, what problem has happened here, how do we solve it?' They've taken it so seriously."

The Walking Dead returns to AMC with new episodes on Sunday, February 28. Follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter for all things The Walking Dead Universe.