AMC confirmed last year that The Walking Dead is set to come to an end after its 11th season.
It was news that shocked fans at the time, but it appears it also came as a surprise to the show’s cast.
Speaking to Collider, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who plays Negan, revealed that once they got word of the series ending, it came as a shock to him, his co-stars, and even showrunner Angela Kang.
“The news, when we got it in the middle of the pandemic, was a complete surprise, not only to me and the rest of the actors, but to everybody involved in the show from production. Scott Gimple and Angela Kang had no idea either,” Morgan said.
“It came from nowhere and there was such a huge pivot. I think they had season 11 all mapped out, where they were going to go, and suddenly it became, ‘We also have to close the story, in a way.’
“It took everybody by surprise, so it was a massive pivot. And then, they threw in the six tacked-on episodes to season 10, and instead of doing 16, we’re going to do 24 more. There was a lot of stuff to wrap our heads around.”
However, Morgan also gave a positive update on the 11th season, saying that it “feels bigger than previous seasons”.
“I think everyone is keenly aware that it is our last year, as far as the writers and stuff. It feels good,” he added. “It feels like the story is really good.
“I’ve only seen the first four scripts, and they’re great. There’s so far no reference and no feeling in the story that it’s ending at all. It’s opening up all of these new chapters that are really interesting and cool. I’m excited.”
Earlier this month, Morgan’s co-star Melissa McBride, who plays Carol Peletier, admitted that it was “very difficult” to think about the long-running show coming to an end.
“It’s heavy to think about how long we’ve been doing this – the relationships that we’ve formed; the shared experience of being a part of something so phenomenological. That will never go away. We will always have the shared experience,” McBride said.
“And leaving it – there’s this whole ocean of work; there’s so much material that we’re all very proud of.
“Again, the shared creative experience of being a part of this Robert Kirkman world that overtook so much – it just became such a big thing. To think of that coming to any sort of end is very difficult.”