Even before AMC's The Walking Dead can think about ushering in its final season of 24 episodes, showrunner and executive producer Angela Kang and her team still have those six, season 10 sequel/season 11 prequel episodes that are expected to focus on Maggie (Lauren Cohan), Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), Carol (Melissa McBride), Daryl (Norman Reedus), Aaron (Ross Marquand), Gabriel (Seth Gilliam), and the team of Ezekiel (Khary Payton), Princess (Paola Lázaro), and we're assuming Eugene (Josh McDermitt) and Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura). Up until today, we'd only heard from the cast through social media posts and interviews that work was starting back up in Atlanta- with Reddus's posts on Monday being our most recent unofficial update.
Well, now it's official because the series took to its official social media accounts on Tuesday to let fans know that production was now underway (and whether they realize it or not, fuel millions of dumpster fires with wonderfully insane speculation)- and we have it right here:
— The Walking Dead on AMC (@WalkingDead_AMC) October 13, 2020
"We've got some great stuff for everybody that's on this panel," said Kang during a panel discussion at this year's New York Comic Con-Metaverse (where she was joined by Reedus, McBride, Morgan, Payton, and Lazaro). "We're really going to see an episode with Maggie when she comes back since we just got to see her for a little bit in the finale that just aired. We'll find out more about the group that is on the road-trip," she added, referring to Ezekiel, Princess, Eugene, and Yumiko. Kang also had a great tease for fans of 2016's "Here's Negan!" comic book story, saying during an NYCC-M live chat "fans will be happy soon." Fans of Lauren Ridloff's Connie may not be too happy, though: they'll have to wait until Season 11 to return. "At the time that we had to lock these episodes, her schedule was still up in the air," Kang explained. "We have an episode that should be really cool for people coming up afterward. We're working on that for her."
As for the production itself, Kang revealed that it took several months to get production back up and running to stay in accordance with COVID health and safety precautions. "Everybody will have masks and face shields and they've done the trailers differently," Kang explained. "There's sanitation stations everywhere. There's UV lights and air scrubbers and things on the stages. There's a former military infectious diseases specialist who's our health and safety supervisor." To that end, the creative team has had to weigh telling the stories they want with doing it in a manner that is safe. "We've had to think a lot about, 'How do we tell the story so they're satisfying and dive into characters and give a little bit of adventure, but being really creative about how many people we can have in a scene. How can we show things while keeping people a little bit distant wherever we can? It's forced us to really think outside of the box because we've really had a box around us in terms of how to do it safely," she said.