On Wednesday, AMC shocked fans by announcing that The Walking Dead is coming to an end. After 11 long seasons, the show will be over when its next batch of episodes is up. According to a report by Entertainment Weekly, that won't be until 2022, but it still left people everywhere emotional — including the stars themselves.
Over the course of its run, The Walking Dead has explored and expanded its vast fictional world, drawing in many characters at different stages in their grief for the world they once knew. The massive ensemble cast has been one of the show's strongest selling points, and it has launched some massive careers along the way. Some of those cast members were quick to speak up when the series ending was announced, as were the creative minds behind the camera.
BREAKING: #TheWalkingDead will conclude in 2022 with an extended 24-episode 11th and final season. In 2023, Angela Kang will return to helm a fourth #TWD series starring Norman Reedus and Melissa McBride. Details: https://t.co/256kz1pAzn pic.twitter.com/GLbd3zG6UF— The Walking Dead (@TheWalkingDead) September 9, 2020
The Walking Dead is currently gearing up for its Season 10 finale, which was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. After that airs in October, there is one more season on the way. Season 11 will reportedly be extra-long, in order to bring all its disparate storylines to a satisfactory close.
That will not be the end of The Walking Dead on TV, either. There is still a feature-length movie about Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) on the way, and AMC announced two new spin-off shows to replace the main series. One will focus on Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Carol (Melissa McBride) as they split off from their main group.
None of that changes the fact that The Walking Dead as they know it will soon be over for fans, and the actors who star in it. Here is a look at the cast and crew who have spoken up about the Walking Dead finale already.
When AMC announced that a Daryl and Carol spin-off is coming, they had statements from Reedus and McBride prepared to go. According to a report by Insider, Reedus said: "I feel incredibly honored to be a part of The Walking Dead. This show changed my life and career and everyone involved has truly been a family for me over the last decade."
"I'm thankful for AMC's love and support and know there's so much more story to tell and so much more to bring the best fans in the world," he continued. "Daryl's relationship with Carol has always been my favorite relationship on the show (sorry Rick). I love the way these characters interact and relate to each other on so many levels and can't wait to see where their ride goes from here."prevnext
McBride shared a similar sentiment, remarking on how rich the relationship between Daryl and Carol is on screen. However, she added that working with Reedus was also a personal highlight of the series for her. She said: "I've always enjoyed working so closely with Norman throughout these many seasons. In playing Carol, and as a viewer of the show, I've also long been intrigued with 'Daryl and Carol,' and by what so early on between them, even then, felt somehow bound."
"Their shared history is long, and each's own personal fight to survive, even longer – the more obvious aspect of what has kept them close and loyal," she went on. "But there is also a rather mysterious aspect to their fondness for one another that I enjoy, and their playfulness when the world permits. I'm very curious! Angela has a way of shaking things up in great and unexpected ways. She's like a kid playing with the dimmer switch! I'm very excited!"prevnext
All good things...— Khary Payton (@kharypayton) September 9, 2020
As news of The Walking Dead finale spread, it took over social media like the very virus that makes up the show. While many past and present cast members kept their silence, Khary Payton was one of the first to respond. The actor — who played King Ezekiel on the series — tweeted a simple: "All good things..." Fans were devastated by the simple truth of his statement.prevnext
The Walking Dead showrunner Angela Kang issued a statement as well, admitting that she is excited for the next chapter in her career, even as she mourns the show that has consumed her days for a decade now. She also let fans know that, despite this announcement, there is plenty to look forward to in the series' extra-long final season.
"I look forward to digging in with our brilliant writers, producers, directors, cast, and crew to bring this epic final chapter of Robert Kirkman's story to life for our fans over the next two years," she said. "The Walking Dead flagship series has been my creative home for a decade and so it's bittersweet to bring it to an end, but I could not be more excited to be working with Scott Gimple and AMC to develop a new series for Daryl and Carol."
"Working with Norman Reedus and Melissa McBride has been a highlight of my career and I'm thrilled that we get to keep telling stories together," she added.prevnext
Scott Gimple, the showrunner who preceded Kang, issued his own statement as well. He said: "It's been ten years 'gone bye;' what lies ahead are two more to come and stories and stories to tell beyond that. What's clear is that this show has been about the living, made by a passionate cast, team of writer/producers, producers, and crew, bringing to life the vision put forth by Robert Kirkman in his brilliant comic — and supported by the best fans in the world."
"We have a lot of thrilling story left to tell on TWD, and then, this end will be a beginning of more Walking Dead — brand new stories and characters, familiar faces and places, new voices, and new mythologies," he went on. "This will be a grand finale that will lead to new premieres. Evolution is upon us. The Walking Dead lives."prevnext
Long-time writer on the series Kevin Deiboldt also tried to focus on what's to come, not the ending itself. In his own tweet on Wednesday, he lamented: "One last time."prevnext
'The Walking Dead'
The Walking Dead’s final epic chapter. The Expanded Season 11 begins 2021. pic.twitter.com/oNl4sgcYCt— The Walking Dead on AMC (@WalkingDead_AMC) September 9, 2020
Finally, the official Walking Dead Twitter account led fans on a trip down memory lane, and generally seemed to centralize the conversation on social media on Wednesday. With highlight reels, reactions and even memes about the series finale, this became the centerpiece for fans saying farewell to The Walking Dead on Wednesday.prev