Greg Nicotero On Directing The Walking Dead Finale: ‘It’s A Pretty Amazing Episode’ – Exclusive Image

The Walking Dead – Season 11 BTS excl

by Ben Travis |
Published on

From make-up supervisor, to an executive producer, to a regular director, the legendary Greg Nicotero’s journey on The Walking Dead has been almost as epic as the series itself. Having learned his zombie-creating craft on George A. Romero’s Day Of The Dead, he’s brought some of the show’s gnarliest imagery to unforgettable life – and now, he’s about the bring the whole bloody saga to a close. The Walking Dead’s 11th and final season is approaching its final run of episodes – and it’s all due to culminate in an instalment helmed by Nicotero. No pressure.

In the new Black Panther: Wakanda Forever issue, Nicotero writes exclusively for Empire about his time on the show – and what audiences can look forward to in the last ever episode. “I asked to direct the finale, but I believe that [showrunners] Angela [Kang] and Scott [M. Gimple] already had every intention of having me do it, for a lot of reasons,” he writes. “I felt the weight of pressure on me, and I’m proud of what we did. Is it zombie-heavy or zombie-light? Well, even if the script had said ‘two or three zombies’, I’d need more like 200 or 300.” For all the expectations that come with closing out a juggernaut show like The Walking Dead, Nicotero promises one hell of an ending. “It’s a pretty amazing episode,” he writes. “I put my heart and soul into it. It was rough. I said to Norman one day, ‘Man, if I can make it through this, I can do anything. I can direct a Star Wars movie, I can direct anything that lands in front of me.’ I’m proud of it.”

If The Walking Dead coming to an end will be emotional for fans, it was a major moment for those who have worked on the show across its near 13-year run. “On the last day of [filming] The Walking Dead, I shot a little video of me and Norman on set,” Nicotero recalls. “We talked about 12 years together, all the stuff that we had done. Like when the scripts would come out and Andy [Lincoln] and Norman would come over to my house and we would read them together. We’d been in the trenches together for over a decade.” Get ready, everyone: the end really is nigh.

Empire – November 2022 cover

Read Greg Nicotero’s piece on The Walking Dead’s final run in the November 2022 issue of Empire – on sale Thursday 29 September, and available to order online here. The final season of The Walking Dead returns to Disney+ from 3 October.

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