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Was The Walking Dead supposed to run beyond Season 11? Jeffrey Dean Morgan thinks so

Jeffrey Dean Morgan at the Los Angeles Premiere Of AMC's 'The Walking Dead' Season 9 held at the Directors Guild of America Theater Complex on September 27, 2018, in Los Angeles, California, United States
Jeffrey Dean Morgan stars as Negan in The Walking Dead. Pic credit: ©ImageCollect.com/ImagePressAgency

When AMC announced that Season 11 of The Walking Dead would be its last, many fans were shocked. After all, even though ratings had been dropping, it was still a very successful TV show with a huge following.

However, a new interview with The Walking Dead star Jeffrey Dean Morgan reveals that it may have been a shock to the cast and crew as well.

When Morgan spoke to Collider, he revealed that there was the assumption that The Walking Dead would run past 11 seasons.

“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,'” Morgan explained.

He then revealed that there was a real “pivot” in order to remap Season 11. Hence why the season was extended and will include 24 episodes rather than the standard 16 episodes.

The announcement came as a surprise to showrunner and chief content officer

According to Morgan, The Walking Dead’s chief content officer, Scott Gimple, didn’t see it coming either. Neither did the series 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. It came from nowhere.”

Gimple is tasked with the larger scale of The Walking Dead universe from the original series right through to the spinoffs and webisodes that are now planned, along with various other content options. So, it is somewhat of a surprise that the directive didn’t come from him but, rather, someone else higher up in the network.

Paola Lazaro as Juanita 'Princess' Sanchez, as seen in Episode 20 of AMC's The Walking Dead Season 10C
Paola Lazaro as Juanita ‘Princess’ Sanchez, as seen in Episode 20 of The Walking Dead Season 10C. Pic credit: AMC/Josh Stringer

There might have plans to extend beyond the end of the comic book series

The Walking Dead is based on a hugely popular comic book series that was created by Robert Kirkman.

When it concluded quite unexpectedly in July of 2019, fans were shocked. However, Kirkman was glad to be able to wrap the comics up on his own terms and without all of the hype leading up to a known finale edition, according to Screen Rant.

Now, it is apparent that AMC’s adaptation will likely conclude with the same storylines as those that played out in the last edition of the comics. Already, the introduction with the Commonwealth is well underway and, with 24 episodes in Season 11, it seems very likely viewers will get to see a very similar story to the original source content.

With what Morgan has said to Collider, though, there is the implication that maybe those involved with The Walking Dead TV show could have gone well beyond the source matter.

Of course, no one will know for certain until Season 11 airs. And, as Morgan points out, this may be some time away as, in the two months of filming so far, only three episodes have been completed.

The Walking Dead airs Sunday nights at 9/8c on AMC.

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