Going back to watch The Walking Dead again from the start, like we did recently, causes you to evaluate many things. One of which is the way that walkers have changed throughout the duration of the show. We spoke to show producer and director Greg Nicotero about the evolution of walkers in The Walking Dead.
Nicotero, who has a rich background in special makeup effects, told us that although the show’s walkers are there primarily to further the story, he loves to throw some cool zombies in there from time to time because he loves “being able to design some weird stuff”.
Like the recent spiked walker – named Winslow – from episode 10 of Season 7.
“It came out of an early conversation with [showrunner] Scott Gimple,” he says. “I was thinking about the original Planet of the Apes when they’re going through the desert and they see the scarecrows and there were these weird, creepy, foreboding images. And Scott said: ‘Oh, we might have this walker that’s like an art installation inside this garbage dump’. So we took a motorcycle gas tank and made the helmet out of it.”
Nicotero says that this season has been an epic one for creative zombies.
“Even the walkers in the first episode that were crushed by the log pile that was on fire,” he says. “We had a lot of blistering and sloughing-off skin. And then the walkers on the bridge in episode 6 with Tara. We went for a more desiccated, mummified look – they were all dried out because they were under that pile of sand. It’s been a great opportunity to keep changing it up season after season and this year we’ve had a lot of great opportunities.”
So how will the walkers continue to evolve in future seasons? We know that walkers continue to decay over time…
“I know what we’ll never see. We’ll never see walking skeletons,” says Nicotero.
Why? Find out when you watch the video above.
Check out more interview goodness with the cast of The Walking Dead below: