The Walking Dead Releases First Set Photo From Final Season

A set photo from the first day of the last season of The Walking Dead reveals destruction as filming begins on Season 11. First-time Walking Dead director Kevin Dowling (Bosch, The Strain, 13 Reasons Why) on Monday rolled cameras on the untitled final season premiere, partially set inside the battle-damaged Alexandria in the aftermath of Season 10 and the extended season's six new bonus episodes. In episode 1015, "The Tower," our group of survivors temporarily abandoned their home when the Alexandria Safe-Zone was overrun by the walker horde unleashed by Beta (Ryan Hurst) in the climax of the Whisperer War.

Like the six-episode Season 10C, which wrapped after a six-week shoot in October, the 24-episode final season of The Walking Dead enters into production with COVID-19 safety protocols after the pandemic delayed Season 11 to later in 2021. In the Epic Final Season, the Walking Dead Universe expands once again when the heroes encounter a sprawling new civilization familiar to comic book readers: the Commonwealth.

"The Commonwealth story really touches on things I think are very relevant about class and about society. [Comic creator] Robert Kirkman really tapped into something that I think a lot of us are thinking about," showrunner Angela Kang previously told The Los Angeles Times. "Obviously we've had to pivot to these other episodes that are part of the sort of Season 10 continuation bloc, and then for Season 11 there's just these stories with themes that are meaningful to all of us."

After the eleventh and final season — which the Walking Dead veteran has described as having a mix of western and thriller elements and a return to more urban settings — Kang takes the show on the road with an untitled sequel spin-off series.

"I'm excited to see the franchise grow in another direction, although it's a really bittersweet time. I've spent the past decade working on the flagship show and I love these characters and I love this world and I love these stories," Kang said of The Walking Dead's ending. "I just hope we can do justice to the story we've been telling."

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Season 11 previously cast Margot Bingham (Netflix series She's Gotta Have It) as Stephanie, the heard-but-not-seen woman who befriends Eugene (Josh McDermitt) over his long-distance radio in Season 10. AMC Networks has not announced a Season 11 premiere date, but the new season is expected to air in October 2021.

The Walking Dead returns to AMC with new episodes on Sunday, February 28, at 9 pm ET/8c. Follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter for all things TWD.