‘The Walking Dead’ Director Gives Reason For Extreme Violence On Season 7 Premiere

Warning: This article contains spoilers from the Season 7 premiere of The Walking Dead.

The Walking Dead Season 7 premiered Sunday leaving even longtime fans reeling from the extreme levels of brutality that director Greg Nicotero has come out to defend, the NY Post is reporting.

On Monday, Nicotero who started on the AMC drama as head of its special-effects makeup section said it was crucial that the TV series stay true to the comic book and prep events properly for what is to characterize the whole season.

“What struck me was the horrifically graphic and senseless brutality and I wanted to capture those moments. This is far the most despicable villain that we have ever encountered. We felt that it was important to launch us into this season showing the extent of what Negan is capable of doing because that drives so much where the series is going from here on in.”

Nicotero, who put his special-effects and makeup skills to good use, revealed that the blood-curdling scenes which marked the deaths of Glenn and Abraham were difficult to film. According to him, both actors required multiple makeup designs and prosthetics.

He added that Negan’s bat, Lucille which was used to bludgeon both men to death was equipped with a bag of blood which made every hit look sadistically explosive. Abraham was meant to be the only casualty after Negan accused Rick and his crew of killing some of his men, but the hideous baddie unpredictably turned on Glenn after Daryl assaulted him.

Nicotero said they had to dig a hole in the ground for Glenn and place his face inside so that his fingers could be seen twitching as his face took a pummelling. Steven Yeun’s scene that played Glenn was especially graphic compared to Michael Cudlitz who played Abraham. Negan had hit Glenn so hard that one of his eyeballs had popped out before he battered the brain matter out of his head.

The death of Glenn, a fan favorite from Season 1, hit plenty of fans hard, some of whom have promised not to watch the show again. Nicotero amusingly pointed out that if people did not feel a strong connection with characters from the AMC drama, it meant they were not doing their job right.

“It’s a knee-jerk reaction that people have because they care about these characters. If we killed someone and people didn’t care…that means we haven’t done something to connect our people to the characters.”

Nicotero’s argument is that the violence on The Walking Dead Season 7 premiere helps push the show further forward, adding that Sasha and Rosita carrying the lingering memory of Abraham, Maggie pregnant with Glenn’s baby, and Rick crushed by the deaths and seeing how he responds are enough reasons to stay hooked on the show.

“It’s a knee-jerk reaction that people have because they care about these characters. If we killed someone and people didn’t care…that means we haven’t done something to connect our people to the characters.”

The premiere episode of The Walking Dead Season 7 was watched by 17 million Americans between the 18-49 demographic brackets that advertisers love. It still falls a bit short of 17.29 million viewers who watched the Season 5 premiere. The first episode of Season 6 was watched by an unimpressive 2.37 million viewers. Experts are saying that many people wanted to avoid spoilers on social media and made time to catch the violent first episode of Season 7.

The episode being touted as one of the most brutal things ever to make it to television, apparently even took its toll on The Walking Dead evil man, Jeffrey Dean Morgan who said he thought about pulling out of the episode.

The 50-year-old said filming the scenes were harrowing, intense, and too long. He said it took great effort not to abandon the set and leave it all behind. The former Grey’s Anatomy favorite revealed that forcing Rick to chop off Carl’s hand with an ax was the hardest for him.

[Featured Image by Charles Sykes/AP Images]