Andrew Lincoln and Danai Gurira aren't the only ones reuniting for The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live. Greg Nicotero — the longtime Walking Dead director, executive producer, special effects makeup supervisor, and zombie designer who has been with the AMC franchise since the beginning — has confirmed his role on the Walking Dead Rick and Michonne spinoff premiering in 2024. As Nicotero notes in an interview with ComicBook for season 4 of the horror anthology series Creepshow (streaming now on Shudder and AMC+), the director didn't step behind the camera for the six-episode series because he was in France shooting second unit on The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon.
"I've been in France while they were developing the Rick and Michonne show. I still supervised the makeup effects from a distance, but I did not [direct]," Nicotero told ComicBook of The Ones Who Live, which began production in New Jersey in February 2023. "I think if I hadn't been in Paris, I probably would have directed on Rick and Michonne, because I know Andy personally had asked me to come and work on the show. But I can't be in two places at once."
The TWD veteran may not be directing episodes of The Ones Who Live, but he did give fans their first taste of Rick and Michonne's returns in a final coda sequence that ended The Walking Dead series finale in 2022. Nicotero is credited as consulting producer on the spinoff series from showrunner Scott M. Gimple, who serves as executive producer alongside Lincoln, Gurira, Denise Huth (The Walking Dead) and Brian Bockrath (The Walking Dead: Dead City).
The Walking Dead's go-to director, also an EP on Daryl Dixon, additionally confirmed that he's officially back in the director's chair for The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon — The Book of Carol, which reunites Norman Reedus and Melissa McBride as series regulars.
"I did get a chance to direct a lot, actually, of season one of Daryl. I did the old, 'Hey guys, I'm here and I'm not directing in season 1. But if you need me, I'm available to do second unit or additional photography.' And they went, 'Oh, really? Well, that's funny, because we only have 24 days to shoot this episode and the schedule is 30. So those extra six days, you could go shoot those,'" Nicotero explained to ComicBook, adding that his directorial contributions included Daryl's trek across the French countryside in the "L'âme Perdue" series premiere, a zombie-filled action sequence set at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, and Daryl fending off underwater walkers in the sewers beneath Paris.
"I had a really good time shooting a lot of that footage. I thought it was really a better choice for the show to have different directors bring Daryl Dixon into the world because we wanted it to have a visually different style to it," Nicotero said of the spinoff set and filmed in France with directors Daniel Percival (the dystopian thriller series The Man in the High Castle) and Tim Southam (totalitarian sci-fi drama Colony). "I loved the directors that we had in season one. I did direct on [Daryl] season 2 because we've been filming already. That was a lot of fun for me."
The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live premieres in February 2024 on AMC and AMC+, and will be followed by The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon — The Book of Carol later in 2024.