Jeffrey Dean Morgan has revealed that he was surprised when he heard about The Walking Dead’s axing last year, hinting that season 11 wasn’t supposed to be the finale of the long-running show.
In an interview published by Collider on Wednesday, the actor spoke about the decision to end the hit AMC horror drama series, which was announced last September, and stated that both the cast and the development team were shocked.
Specifically, the 54-year-old performer said, ‘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.’
Blindsided: Jeffrey Dean Morgan recently spoke about the sudden decision to end The Walking Dead after its upcoming 11th season; he is pictured in 2019
Morgan also noted that the showrunners were equally puzzled by the decision, stating, ‘Scott Gimple and Angela Kang had no idea either. It came from nowhere and there was such a huge pivot.’
The actor, who portrays Negan in the series, told the media outlet that although the writing staff was satisfied with how they planned out the upcoming set of episodes, they were blindsided by the announcement as well.
Morgan recalled, ‘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.”‘
‘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,’ he added.
Out of nowhere: During an interview with Collider, the fan-favorite actor expressed that the news about the show’s end came as ‘a complete surprise’
Higher-up decision: Morgan also noted that the series’ showrunners, Scott Gimple and Angela Kang, were informed about the series’ axing along with much of the cast and crew
The Grey’s Anatomy actor expressed that ‘There was a lot of stuff to wrap our heads around’ as the news made its way to The Walking Dead’s cast and crew.
Morgan went on to speak about his experience filming the show after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and remarked that it was, ‘very weird and crazy and surreal.’
The performer also noted that much of the series’ crew has adjusted to the news about its ending and that they are attempting to try out fresh ideas that will please fans and critics alike.
‘I think everyone is keenly aware that it is our last year, as far as the writers and stuff. It feels good…It’s opening up all of these new chapters that are really interesting and cool,’ he said.
Morgan concluded that he and the rest of the show’s team understand that The Walking Dead is set to conclude soon and that he is still trying to come to terms with not working on the series in the future.
Making the most of it: Morgan went on to note that the writing staff and production crew worked around the announcement and the sudden desire to end the show ended up ‘opening…all of these new chapters’; he is spotted in 2019
‘It’s become such a part of my life, and a part of everyone’s life that’s in the show, that it’s hard to reconcile the fact this will be over in a year,’ he said.
Although the main show is set to end soon, the team behind Fear The Walking Dead is currently prepping for the release of its seventh season.
The Walking Dead: World Beyond also made its debut in October of last year, and a second set of episodes is set to premiere in the near future.
A spinoff of the main series focused on fan favorite characters Daryl and Carol, portrayed by Norman Reedus and Melissa McBride, respectively, has also entered the development stage.
In September of last year, an anthology show entitled Tales of The Walking Dead was greenlit by AMC, and showrunner Scott Gimple will return for the future entry in the media franchise.
Keeping it going: The Walking Dead’s various companion shows have not been cancelled, and a spinoff centered on fan-favorite characters Daryl and Carol is currently in the works