The Walking Dead is about to enter its final season, but fans don’t need to prepare themselves to say goodbye just yet as season 11 of the hit post-apocalyptic drama is set to clock in at a super-sized 24 episodes. The first chunk of eight is about to premiere later this month and, ahead of time, star Norman Reedus has promised that what’s coming is going to be “mind-blowing”.
The Daryl Dixon actor spoke to ComicBook.com and revealed that the enormous season will be split in two, with the first 10 episodes following a storyline connected to Lauren Cohan’s Maggie and the rest after that moving onto a much wilder arc that Reedus compares to “Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory”. Here’s how he put it:
“It’s kind of mind-blowing where we’re going,” Reedus said. “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.”
Reedus went on to add that season 11’s first half can be compared to a “black and white western” while the second half is like a “crazy” “technicolor Willy Wonka film”.
“It’s completely different,” continued Reedus. “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.”
The Maggie storyline that’ll occupy the first 10 episodes or so of the season will likely center on the Reapers. The latest group of bloodthirsty antagonists to threaten the survivors, these original-to-TV creations were just introduced in season 10C, which established that Maggie first encountered them during her time away. Expect this arc to be pretty gritty and stripped-back, then.
Meanwhile, no prizes for guessing what the second half is about. It’s the Commonwealth, the 50,000-strong community that’s been alluded to a lot by now but we’re soon to get to know very well. Apparently we can expect the later episodes of the run to have a much more colorful palette as the survivors go from their usual woodsy surroundings to the wealthy cityscape of the Commonwealth.
The Walking Dead season 11 kicks off on AMC from Sunday, August 22nd. Alternatively, AMC Plus subscribers can catch it a week earlier on August 15th.