The Walking Dead fan-favorite Michael Cudlitz has confirmed that he’s returning to direct at least one episode of the upcoming eleventh and final season of the post-apocalyptic drama. Cudlitz played Abraham Ford from seasons 4-7, before Abe was killed off by Negan. However, unlike most of those who’ve been written out of the series over the years, Cudlitz continued on as part of the TWD family by switching to directing.
He made his directorial debut in the franchise with season 9’s “Stradivarius” before helming two other episodes in season 10 – “Silence the Whisperers” and “Open Your Eyes” – as well as two episodes of spinoff The Walking Dead: World Beyond. Cudlitz revealed that he was behind the camera for season 11 by sharing a selfie from the set in Atlanta, Georgia on social media.
“Amazing job keeping us safe,” Cudlitz wrote in his caption to the image, which sees him masked up in an office. “Back on set #twdfinalseason let’s do this !!”
The Walking Dead has pandemic-proofed its production since work began in late 2020 on season 10C, putting out six episodes specifically designed to be safely made during the COVID outbreak, which aired earlier this year. We’ve been promised that season 11 will return to the full-scale storytelling that we’re used to, but it’s clear the rigorous safety precautions are still in effect to ensure everyone is kept healthy.
It’s good to know that Cudlitz is coming back for season 11, as this means that he’s now been involved in all but four of TWD‘s seasons. Fans were heartbroken when Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s villain bashed Abe’s brains in with Lucille back in the season 7 premiere and, while that spelled the end for his on-screen career in this universe, at least AMC has kept him employed since then.
The Walking Dead season 11 is set to clock in at a super-sized 24 episodes, which will release in three batches of eight. The first third will kick off on AMC this Sunday, August 22nd. AMC Plus subscribers can catch the premiere a week earlier on August 15th.