Following Frank Darabont's unceremonious departure from "The Walking Dead," outlook hasn't been overwhelmingly positive regarding the post-zombie apocalypse TV series. But here's a healthy helping of good news for you: Greg Nicotero, the legendary FX artist responsible for creating the titular flesh-craving, blood-hungry walking dead, is upping his role with the series in some seriously significant ways.
AMC has just announced that Nicotero has been named co-executive producer of "The Walking Dead," joining the ranks of fellow producers Robert Kirkman (creator of the comic books and one of the show's lead writers) and Gale Anne Hurd of "Aliens" and "Terminator" fame. Not only has Nicotero been upgraded to co-executive producer status, but Deadline reports that the FX mastermind will also be directing an episode of the show's second season. He's already directed a series of "Walking Dead" webisodes that have yet to be released.
"Greg's talent extends well beyond the word of special-effects makeup," AMC senior vice president of original programming, production and digital content Joel Stillerman said in a statement (via Variety). "He is also a truly talented director and has an incredibly comprehensive understanding and appreciation for great storytelling. His knowledge and respect for the genre is unparalleled, and we are looking forward to expanding our relationship with him with an eye towards developing more great original series."
"Working on 'The Walking Dead' with such a fantastic cast and crew has been an amazing opportunity, and to have our contribution to the show celebrated is a tremendous compliment," added Nicotero, who just won an Emmy for his makeup effects on "The Walking Dead."
The good news doesn't end there for Nicotero, either, as AMC also announced that the KNB EFX Group founder has signed a first-look deal to develop his own projects for the network.
"I have always felt like the show had a cinematic feel, and everyone involved is dedicated to making this show something special," said Nicotero. "To be able to branch out and to develop not only the web series but also genre material is something I have always wanted to do, given the people I have had the pleasure of working with over the last 23 years."
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