The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon is going to shake up the franchise in more ways than one. For starters, or shall we say entrées, the spin-off relocates the action to France. Now, though, executive producer Greg Nicotero has teased the introduction of a new strain of zombie that's set to "change all the rules".
"These zombies have mutated to a point where if they touch or bite you or their blood gets on you, it burns you significantly," he recently told TV Insider, before adding: "Dixon takes us back to the beginning of what the DNA of The Walking Dead started as, which is a man on a mission."
Since The Walking Dead franchise kicked off in 2010, the development of the undead has been relatively, well... slow-moving. We briefly saw radioactive walkers in Fear the Walking Dead and the concept of smarter, faster "variant" zombies was touched on in The Walking Dead: World Beyond's post-credits scene – but that was about it. (Original showrunner Frank Darabont actually included quick chompers in season 1, before the rules of the show were later reestablished by Glen Mazzara).
When the variant zombies unexpectedly showed up at the end of The Walking Dead's final season, Nicotero explained to Entertainment Weekly: "We were still figuring it out [in the early seasons]. But we decided that it was an opportunity.
"We sort of played into that as if there might be certain walkers in certain regions that might have different abilities that we really haven't seen before," he continued. "We're kind of playing into the idea that some of these are out there and they're just encountering them now."
Thanks to The Walking Dead: World Beyond, we know that the virus originated in France, so it makes sense, given Nicotero's comments, that the country would be home to even more kinds of roamers – and by the sounds of it, even deadlier ones, too.
Starring Clémence Poésy and Norman Reedus, The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon sees the titular character find himself in Paris, where he's tasked by a mysterious group of nuns to ferry a young boy named Laurent (Louis Puech Scigliuzzi) across the country. The kid, you see, might just be the key to the "revival of humanity".
It premieres on AMC and AMC+ on September 10. For more, check out our handy guide on how to watch The Walking Dead franchise in order, or have a look at our list of the most exciting new TV shows heading our way.