Michael Cudlitz is coming back to The Walking Dead, though not in the way fans might expect. The actor will be returning to the show’s zombified American wasteland to direct an episode of the current season. Cudlitz began portraying Sergeant Abraham Ford midway through season four. He was an instant hit with fans thanks to his gruff, militaristic demeanor and hysterical one-liners. The character traveled with Rick Grimes’ group until he was savagely bludgeoned to death by Negan in the seventh season premiere. However, he did briefly show up in a flashback appearance in the season 7 finale.
Cudlitz will be directing an episode titled “Stradivarius,” which is set to air on November 18. In an interview with The Wrap, he described the experience as “the best of both worlds” and teased his upcoming work on the show. It’s still one month away, but it sounds like his episode will have far-reaching effects on the new status quo.
“It sort of helped establish the early roots of what some of these new characters will be,” Cudlitz said. “Because, as everyone who watches the show understands, the early episodes where you learn a lot about the characters really do set the tone of how they are perceived and received from there on out. You tend to come into the show with a loud voice, make an imprint, and then get woven into the fabric of the show. So these few episodes where they do have a very loud voice and a prominent voice, they are establishing who they are and how they feel about things and it was fun to be part of that. We had a lot, a lot of elements of the show that are new elements: animals, kids, American Sign Language. A lot, a lot of elements.”
As for whether his episode will feature the soon-to-be-departing Andrew Lincoln, Cudlitz isn’t giving away any details. “Uhhh, I don’t know if it was or wasn’t after his exit,” he said. “I don’t know if I’m allowed to even answer that question so I won’t! I love Andy though, Andy is amazing.”
Cudlitz recently began starring on the new ABC sitcom The Kids Are Alright. Are you excited for the actor to return to The Walking Dead in a behind-the-scenes capacity? Tell us what you think in the comment section below!