Norman Reedus opens up about The Walking Dead season 11, teasing the final chapter for the series goes to some “mind-blowing places.” Based on Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard’s graphic novels of the same name, the post-apocalyptic drama centers on groups of survivors in a zombie apocalypse attempting to survive the dangers of the titular foes and other humans. Reedus is part of a large ensemble cast that has included Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies, Steven Yeun, Chandler Riggs, Melissa McBride, Lauren Cohan and Danai Gurira, amongst others, across its 10 seasons.
Since its debut in 2010, the series has been a colossal hit for AMC, drawing in the highest total viewership for any fall series with its third season and garnering two Primetime Emmy Award wins and 16 nominations, as well as one Golden Globe nomination. This success has spawned multiple spin-offs, including the similarly-successful Fear the Walking Dead and the more mixed-received, The Walking Dead: World Beyond. AMC is currently at work developing a number of other franchise expansions, including a trilogy of films centered on Lincoln’s Rick Grimes and his story after his departure in season 9, a spin-off centered on Reedus’ and McBride’s Daryl and Carol and an anthology series.
In anticipation of the final chapter’s premiere, Reedus caught up with ComicBook.com to discuss The Walking Dead season 11. Exploring where the season will go after its explosive finale, the star teases the series will continue the journey reflecting on the journey Maggie has been on and something she is struggling with at the start of the season. Reedus also teases that as Daryl’s story “turns into a larger fight” for the character, the latter half of the season will go in a “mind-bending” new direction. See what Reedus said below:
“We did the first 10 episodes kind of in one direction, and that involved Maggie’s story mostly, and us trying to deal with what’s going on with that as a group. And then all of a sudden, we did a one-eighty, and now it’s kind of like Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory all of a sudden. It’s completely different. We’re all doing The Exorcist right now, all of our heads are spinning in a circle. Yeah, we’re all Linda Blair right now. I mean, things go from a black and white western to a technicolor Willy Wonka film like that, and it’s crazy.”
Since Angela Kang took over as showrunner with The Walking Dead season 9, the series has seen a large improvement in quality, harking back to the more tense and terrifying days of its earlier seasons even as it adapts what could have been some of the more goofier issues in its source material. The return of Cohan’s Maggie in the season 10 finale came as a nice surprise for many audiences, but also left most wondering how the final chapter will explain her absence and what that explanation will be. Though Reedus kept his lips sealed on those details, his confirmation that the first 10 episodes will explore this is an intriguing draw for those curious viewers.
More interesting than Maggie’s return, however, is Reedus’ tease of a shift from an old western to a Willy Wonka film in the latter half of The Walking Dead season 11. With the final season set to introduce the unique world of the Commonwealth to the franchise, it would seem their appearance may be saved for later episodes or hint towards a more villainous nature to the network of communities than that of the comics. Only time will tell what Kang and co. have in store when The Walking Dead season 11 begins airing on August 24.