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The Walking Dead wasn't supposed to end with season 11, says Jeffrey Dean Morgan

Negan in The Walking Dead
(Image credit: AMC)

The Walking Dead season 11 will be the show's last – and not only was the initial announcement a shock to fans but also the cast, according to Jeffrey Dean Morgan.

"The news, when we got it in the middle of the pandemic, was a complete surprise, not only to me and the rest of the actors, but to everybody involved in the show from production," Morgan, who plays Negan in the series, told Collider. "Scott Gimple [chief content officer] and Angela Kang [showrunner] had no idea either. It came from nowhere and there was such a huge pivot."

He added: "I think they had season 11 all mapped out, where they were going to go, and suddenly it became, 'We also have to close the story, in a way.' It took everybody by surprise, so it was a massive pivot. And then, they threw in the six tacked-on episodes to season 10, and instead of doing 16, we're going to do 24 more. There was a lot of stuff to wrap our heads around."

Eight episodes total were added to The Walking Dead, with six going to season 10 and two to season 11. This means the final season will consist of a whopping 24 episodes. There are also three movies in the works, which The Walking Dead co-creator Robert Kirkman recently spoke more about. Plus, there's a spinoff focusing on Norman Reedus' Daryl and Melissa McBride's Carol on the way, too. 

Morgan has his own Negan-centric episode coming up, detailing the character's origins. The actor's wife in real life, Hilarie Burton, will portray Negan's wife Lucille – the iconic barbed-wire bat's namesake. "My episode, the big one called, 'Here's Negan,' was really just me and Hilarie [Burton] getting to do our thing, which was great, with limited locations and all of that," Morgan said. "That didn't feel like a bottle episode at all, when we shot it. Matter of fact, I think it's going to look really big."

The first set of The Walking Dead season 11 episodes will arrive in 2021, with the second half landing in 2022. Until then, find your next watch with our guide to the best Netflix shows, and check out everything we know about The Walking Dead movies.