Norman Reedus says his Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon spin-off series is a 'reset'
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The Walking Dead series finale ended with Daryl Dixon riding off on his motorcycle into the distance. We don't know where he's heading, but we certainly know where he ends up. That's because it has already been revealed that the fan favorite will emerge in France in an upcoming spin-off titled The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon.
We know the story will somehow be connected to the mid-credits scene from The Walking Dead: World Beyond finale, in which a scientist in an abandoned French lab was shot after watching videos from Dr. Edwin Jenner (from season 1 of the original series) about tests being done on variant walkers.
And AMC president Dan McDermott was kind enough to tell EW that the spin-off will "follow Daryl as he wakes up and finds himself somewhere on the European continent and tries to piece together what happened. How did he get here? How's he going to get home?"
We spoke to star Norman Reedus back in September when the spin-off was still in pre-production and the actor told us to unlearn what we had learned about The Walking Dead franchise when it came to his new show. "It's going to be way different," he said then. "The story's way different. The characters are way different. There's a different tone, there's different light, there's a different sound. It's a whole different vibe."
But that was then. With Daryl Dixon now officially in production, what we want to know is: What about now? What can Reedus tell us now that cameras have started rolling and he is back playing the same character on a new continent. "We're three weeks done," Reedus tells EW. "We've got three weeks in the can." And how's it going? "It's f---ing great! Everybody that's involved in it is really, really excited about what we're doing. It's so epic in scale, and the tone is so good and different, and moody."
Reedus also says the move to Europe definitely gives the spin-off a different vibe from the original: "There's history in the story. There's history in the walls around us. There's history in the sound of it all. It's a very different feel. It has the stuff that you want from the show, but it's just picked up and put in a whole other dimension."
While The Walking Dead may still be in the show title, the actor says this story is more than a continuation. "It's a reset," says Reedus." You learn a lot of things after 12 years of doing a show, and there are certain paths that you inevitably have to go down because [there is such a big cast]. We don't really have that over there. It's kind of a fresh start for us, with all the things that we loved doing, and just a whole bunch more."
While his character of Daryl will be adapting to a new environment on screen, Reedus has been doing the same as he adjusts to the weirdness of filming a Walking Dead show on the other side of the Atlantic. "It's weird as s---, but that's the story," says Reedus, drawing a connection between actor and character.
"People are speaking French around me, and part of my story is me trying to figure out, 'Is this good or is this bad? Are we about to get into a fight or are we friends right now?' I'm trying to read lips with the language that I don't understand and I'm reading body language, I'm reading tone. I'm reading all sorts of things, and it's confusing and I'm figuring it out. I figure out how to get out of it, and how do I get to the next step. It's all part of the story. So is it weird? Yeah, it's weird, but that's the show we're making. So it's working really well."
He also has a few familiar faces around, like Walking Dead executive producer and director extraordinaire Greg Nicotero, who has spent time in France working on the new series. "Greg's a storyteller. He knows how to find the in between moments that really make or break the tone of something. And he's good at bobbing and weaving, finding those things. And he's got the history in the show and he knows his characters so well, so it's really an asset."
Reedus sounds reenergized when talking about the new series and bringing his character into a completely new environment. "I couldn't be happier, really. We just started, but it's what I wanted to do. It's exciting, and everybody is kind of freaking out because it's so good. It's something I'm really proud of. We just got to keep it up."
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