The Walking Dead Finale Director Hypes Episode’s Massive Zombie Horde

Greg Nicotero, director of The Walking Dead’s upcoming series finale, teases the impressive scope of the long-running show’s final episode. Having started his career in effects, Nicotero has directed more episodes of The Walking Dead than any other person, including a big percentage of the show’s most memorable moments. The final batch of eight episodes is slated to premiere on October 2 on AMC.

The Walking Dead will wrap up the story of a world devastated by a zombie apocalypse and how the human survivors have reformed a series of communities in the new world. The last episodes will deal with the fallout of the Commonwealth, a large community that had taken Alexandria in the most recent episode. Even after the series finale, several spinoffs have already been ordered, including an untitled continuation featuring protagonist Daryl (Norman Reedus) after the conclusion of The Walking Dead.

In his column « My Life Among The Dead » printed in Empire magazine, Nicotero talks about how he went about directing the finale. He references his tendency to expand on the scopes of the episode’s scripts, including more zombies and effects, a tendency he implies carries over to the finale. He says how proud he is of the finale, and that if it’s successful, he can direct anything, even something as ambitious as a Star Wars movie. Read his quote below:

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. 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. It’s a pretty amazing episode. I put my heart and soul into it. It was tough. 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.

It’s no surprise that Nicotero was chosen to direct the finale, having been in charge of almost every significant episode since season 4. The director doesn’t specify how large the zombie horde in the finale will be in his quote, but since the show has played with hordes in the thousands before, it must be a thrilling sight to see. The Walking Dead’s attempts to reinvent itself over the years have garnered mixed reactions, but its ability to do zombie action right has never been questioned.

Even though the franchise is far from finished, The Walking Dead’s conclusion feels like the end of an era for one of cable’s longest-lasting shows. Though the quality has risen and fallen over the years, the series left a cultural mark while proving that genre shows can have widespread appeal to a large audience. In the end, Nicotero’s skills and ability to direct the finale will surely end the series spectacularly, and hopefully remind audiences of all the zombie-killing excitement and action that made The Walking Dead a staple of the horror genre.

Source: Empire