The Walking Dead's Epic Season 11 Trailer Brings Back Missing Character And Introduces Freaky New Villains

The Walking Dead is gearing up to take fans through the final stretch of the zombie apocalypse's flagship series, with the first of Season 11's three eight-episode bursts debuting on AMC in August. Considering how long the season has been filming, the network has already unveiled quite a few first looks from the final season, but we now finally have the very first full-length Season 11 trailer, which you can check out above.

The trailer debuted as part of The Walking Dead's Comic-Con@Home panel, where some new cast members were also announced. One can only assume it would have made the Hall H crowds scream with glee had it aired for everyone in person. It's packed with some of the most horror-riffic moments we've seen from the series in recent years, and we now have a better idea of how strained this "working" relationship is going to be between Jeffrey Dean Morgan's Negan and Lauren Cohan's Maggie. In the sense that Maggie makes all the rules, and Negan better not fuck up. Though it's hard to tell if she's the one that's forcing him to burn that baseball bat.

lauren ridloff's connie in the walking dead season 11

But enough about emotional character drama, and more about horror fun! Lauren Ridloff's Connie, whose return was teased in Season 10, looks like she'll be in a giant homage to the genre alongside fellow returning character Virgil, as portrayed by Kevin Carroll. The knife-through-the-wall-by-her-face bit looked fun, and I so hope their creepy house exploration is full of those kinds of sequences. Which it probably will be if Connie and Virgil are being stalked by the freaky new villains.

First mentioned by Maggie as the group that made life a living hell for her during her years away from Alexandria and Hilltop, The Reapers are now coming to cause chaos for her former stomping grounds now that she's back. And while this new group definitely looks like the post-apocalypse's most popular Slipknot cover band, they definitely stand apart from the Whisperers as far as masked villainous clans go. There's something militarized about their aesthetic and tactics, too. Regardless, the Reapers were central to some of the coolest moments in the trailer, thanks to their distinct visual appeal, so here's hoping there's more to them than just that.

Those unpredictable villains aren't the only new characters to pop up, either. This is one of the few trailers that can boast its own version of a post-credits scene, as it depicts part a promotional video for The Commonwealth, the comic book location that will presumably serve as a major hub for the entirety of Season 11. The VHS quality makes it seem like this video is quite old, with 13 Reasons Why star Josh Hamilton taking on the role of Lance Hornsby (as revealed by showrunner Angela Kang during the panel).

Judging by the complete lack of sunshine-friendly smiles and helpful strangers in the rest of the trailer, I'm guessing The Commonwealth isn't quite at the same level of prosperity as it was when that promo was first produced. I'm also guessing Lance's sense of style is slightly different now. If only we could all have something as fashionable and life-saving in our closets as Michael James Shaw's Mercer uniform.

Grab all the protective gear you can, as The Walking Dead will kick off its extended final season on AMC on Sunday, August 22, at 9:00 p.m. ET, as part of a packed 2021 Fall TV season.

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.