The Walking Dead: Greg Nicotero says the world got smaller

The Walking Dead: Season 6 'The Last Day on Earth' - Negan's Crew. Photo Credit: AMC via - Cass
The Walking Dead: Season 6 'The Last Day on Earth' - Negan's Crew. Photo Credit: AMC via - Cass /

The Walking Dead returns in two weeks to where we left off in the spring and Greg Nicotero shared some things about shooting the premiere.

Entertainment Weekly spoke to Greg Nicotero about directing the premiere episode of The Walking Dead, which he called the most emotional episode he’s ever shot.  As one would expect, returning to set for the cast and crew had a different feel this year because of the tone of the episode they would be filming for the start of season 7.

"Andy has a great expression, it’s like, “Let’s kick this pig,” because one season we had pigs that got loose around the prison, and we had this whole thing going on that was really funny. So Andy’s favorite expression is, “All right, everybody, let’s get together and kick this pig,” that’s his sort of a way of rallying the troops. And every season we show up and everyone’s champing at the bit to get back to work."

"It was different this year, because we knew that we were jumping into it in a very deep, dark, cold place. So it was a different emotion on set, because where we worked ourselves up to for season 6, we began with season 7, and it was really challenging, and it was hard. And the first couple episodes are a bit relentless in that sort of dark place that they really don’t want to go, but we’re going to take you there."

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We’ve been waiting for this episode for a long time now and we’ve been hearing about and thinking about and reading about how the world got bigger. There are communities out there we didn’t know about. Jesus told us our world just got a whole lot bigger.

Negan’s group is a whole lot bigger than we ever imagined when Gregory and Jesus told Rick and the gang about them and we decided to take them out in exchange for food and supplies from Hilltop. When Rick said confrontation has never been a problem for them.

Greg Nicotero said something interesting in his interview that is opposite of things getting bigger. Something that accounts for the grip the story has on us. The grip the Saviors have on us.

"Where we left these characters at the end of season 6 is, they’ve been broken. Their world has literally become smaller and smaller and trapped them, and now they’re in a situation that they’ve never been in before where the cavalry is not coming over the hill. Carol is not going to show up and blow up the propane tank outside of Terminus. These things aren’t going to happen, and it’s just devastating."

Things aren’t really getting bigger. They are as big as they always were. There were always people out there. People we didn’t know about. Now that we know about them things are getting smaller. They are closing in.

It’s not always the bigness that’s scary. It’s the closeness. The intimacy. The realization that things are on top of us that is frightening and stressful.

Next: Who will meet Lucille?

The premiere and season 7 are closing in, too. October 23rd is just 2 weeks away. We will find out what happened last spring and what will happen because of it. We have 2 weeks to prepare for the devastation that Greg warns about.

Undead Walking will have complete season 7 coverage of The Walking Dead.