‘The Walking Dead’ Director Shares Story Behind Delayed Season 10 Finale

The walking dead
Jackson Lee Davis/AMC

The Walking Dead‘s Season 10 finale episode was postponed when production for the series shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, though technically the episode was in the can. So what gives?

While filming on the finale was complete, the team was still in the midst of post-production so the tenth season had to conclude with Episode 15 on April 5, pushing Episode 16 to an unknown date. It was determined the intended finale episode would air as a special sometime later this year.

Walking Dead fans did get some footage of the episode when AMC unveiled a sneak peek at Episode 16 featuring the return of Lauren Cohan’s Maggie. A month after the season wrapped (for now), the finale’s director, Greg Nicotero (Creepshow) spoke to EW Live about why the installment was delayed.

Nicotero broke down the production process, from editing and sound effects to music and more, explaining, “There are all these steps that have to happen, and generally speaking, the way our production schedule works is those happen up to about three weeks before the episode airs.” Taking this into consideration, three weeks prior to April 12 (the intended finale air date), that process would’ve taken place through March 22 which was after production had shut down.

the walking dead

(Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC)

“So we just missed that window,” Nicotero said. “It wasn’t that the effects were delayed or anything was delayed. It was just the delivery of the episode was set to be delivered at a specific date and we had to shut down before they hit that date.”

Viewers of Episode 15 were left with quite the cliffhanger as walkers surrounded the tower rendering those outside of its confines unable to return — and Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) unable to exit. Hopefully the unaired finale will offer some answers as Nicotero teased, “It’s a really amazing episode. I love the way episode 15 ends where you see Beta bringing the herd to the tower where everybody is holed up. There’s a lot teed up, so to speak.”

The Walking Dead, Season 10 finale, TBA, AMC