The Walking Dead's Greg Nicotero Shares Details Behind Delay Of Season 10's 'Fantastic' Finale

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(Image credit: amc press)

Whenever The Walking Dead's Season 10 finale was confirmed to be delayed due to Hollywood's shutdown, it wasn't just a blow to the AMC drama's fanbase, but also to those working on the show that couldn't wait to bring it to the world. One of those people is Walking Dead executive producer Greg Nicotero, who directed the finale, titled "A Certain Doom." For those curious about some of those details, CinemaBlend spoke with Nicotero about the finale's delay.

In an interview promoting the upcoming Blu-ray/DVD release of his Shudder horror anthology Creepshow (out on May 19), Greg Nicotero also talked about one of his biggest prides and joys, The Walking Dead. I asked about what parts of the finale hadn't been finished whenever the production got shut down, and here's what the special effects mastermind told me:

Well, you know, the trick with with post-production is there's a lot of layers, there's a lot of elements. You have to do visual effects, and then you have to do color timing to make sure that in a scene, every camera angle matches in terms of the temperature of the color. You have to do quality checks to make sure when you go through that there's no Starbucks cups in any of the shots, or that there's not a car driving by in the background or something like that. Then you have to do music, and you have to do sound effects. Generally speaking, those things get wrapped up probably three to four weeks before the episode is set to air. So we were literally about to cross the finish line when we had to stop and shut down post because we had to make sure everybody quarantined. We were a couple days away from finishing.

I have to imagine quite a few of the crew members making noises that sounded like haggard walkers when they heard the news, considering how close to the end everyone had gotten. Not to mention the fact that Episode 15 had left the story off on such a wild cliffhanger, with Beta unleashing a walker herd on the hospital where most of the Alexandrians were hiding out. It was a sequence that almost felt scripted as a finale ending, so the fact that it wasn't makes the wait all the more daunting.

In any case, it's definitely encouraging to hear that The Walking Dead's finale wasn't facing any unforeseen problems during the finale's post-production phase. Any season finale directed by Greg Nicotero is likely going to have a larger-than-average sequence or two, as well as some gnarly effects work, so it's a testament to everyone's professionalism that they were approaching completion when everything turned upside-down in the outside world.

Here, Greg Nicotero speaks highly of the Season 10 finale while sharing his personal frustrations over having to temporarily shelve it.

So it wasn't necessarily that we were behind it was just that the self-quarantine started before we had hit our final delivery. It was frustrating for me because, you know, I directed the episode. I'm super proud of it. It's really several moments that we wrap up season-wide story arcs, plus we're laying some seeds for Season 11. So knowing that we got everybody right to the edge of the cliff and then said, 'Okay, just hang here for a minute,' [is frustrating]. But the episode is fantastic. The performances are great, and there's a lot of really good stuff. I was really pleased with all the episodes that we did. I think Season 10's super strong.

Obviously, one of The Walking Dead's big bosses wasn't about to start unloading finale spoilers willy nilly, no matter how fantastic he thinks the episode is. So we'll have to wait for the episode to air to see how all the survivors fare and how Maggie will return, as well as how Kevin Carroll's Virgil re-factors into the story. (Getting to see more Princess is a plus, too.)

Since The Walking Dead hasn't ever dealt with a pre-finale hiatus like this, I wondered if AMC might find a way to build up the Season 10 conclusion to be as much of a standalone event as possible. But when I asked Greg Nicotero if he thought the finale might get super-sized with additional footage, he didn't sound overwhelmingly optimistic about it.

You know, I don't know, because I have a sneaking suspicion that the cut was already locked. Like the picture was already locked in positioned; it was just about going in and doing sound and music and visual effects. So I don't know. There might be a director's cut or a longer cut. I hadn't heard that, but you never know. Fingers crossed.

If there is indeed enough extra footage to tack onto the Season 10 finale, one would hope that AMC would find a way to deliver it, even if it meant taking on some more post-production duties whenever The Walking Dead crew is allowed to work again. That'd probably depend on when such a return would happen, and when the network would want to air the episode.

While waiting for AMC to return to the walker-verse, fans of zany horror (and Greg Nicotero, of course) should definitely check out the first season of Creepshow when it hits DVD and Blu-ray on May 19. With adaptations of stories penned by Stephen King, Joe Lansdale, Birdbox's Josh Malerman and more, the Creepshow set comes stocked with extra features, including audio commentaries and interviews with the talented and varied cast and crew members, which include stars like Giancarlo Esposito, David Arquette, Walking Dead star Cailey Fleming, Tricia Helfer and others. Fans will also be able to enjoy behind-the-scenes footage, a featurette devoted to easter eggs, a comic art booklet, photo galleries and more.

For now, it's unclear when The Walking Dead's Season 10 finale will make it to our eye sockets on AMC, but the network is giving Creepshow an official cable run to promote the home entertainment release. Fans can catch the double-episode airings on Mondays at 9:00 p.m. starting on May 4.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.