12:00pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Walking Dead's' Greg Nicotero: 'We'll Probably End Our Season Minus a Cast Member or Two'
When AMC's The Walking Dead returns for the back half of its third season, there's a strong possibility the death toll will rise.
After a bloody first half that featured the brutal and shocking deaths of both Lori Grimes (Sarah Wayne Callies) and T-Dog (IronE Singleton) -- both members of Rick's (Andrew Lincoln) core group -- co-executive producer and Emmy-winning VFX designer Greg Nicotero says there might be more bull's-eyes on the backs of some of the zombie drama's regular castmembers.
"We've established a certain scenario on our show where nobody is safe -- and certainly in the back-half of our season, it doesn't get easy for anybody," he told reporters at the Golden Globes. "We have the whole Woodbury community with the Governor (David Morrissey) and our principal cast. We'll probably end our season minus a castmember or two."
Part of the bloodshed likely could come in the inevitable second showdown between Rick's camp and that of the Governor's crew as the survivors do their part to try to free Daryl (Norman Reedus) from the hands of the now one-eyed (and equally pissed-off) leader of Woodbury.
"[The fight] moves around a lot," Nicotero teased of the pending confrontation between the communities. "It's very possible there might be another attack on Woodbury. The beauty is you're not confined to one location, even though we spend a lot of our season at Woodbury or the prison. The bottom line is that we've established the conflict between the Governor and Rick, and we'll explore that a lot more in the second half."
Andrea's (Laurie Holden) storyline also will be at the forefront in the second half of the season, Nicotero said, as the former member of Rick's ragtag group realizes she's been "completely hoodwinked" by the Governor.
Says Holden: "Andrea's eyes are now opening; she had no idea that Rick and the others were still alive. Now she's learning that the group is not only alive but that one of her friends has been captured by the man she's been romantically involved with. Her head is exploding."
Holden says Andrea, despite her seemingly horrible taste in men (ahem, Shane [John Bernthal] and the Governor), has a good sense of character and is prepared to do right by the group to which she used to belong.
"It will be interesting to see if Philip listens to Andrea or not -- there's going to be a real redefinition of the Governor to Andrea in the second part of the season," she says, noting the Governor will "very soon" sport the signature eyepatch seen in Robert Kirkman's comics. "It's fair to say that the Governor the audience knows will now be revealed to Andrea.
"Andrea has a really good sense of character, and she loves Rick's group," she adds. "She doesn't know they're at the prison, so she's got a lot of catching up to do. But I can guarantee you that what she does, her heart is in the right place."
As for how the Governor's flame will help Daryl (Norman Reedus) get out of the gladiator battle against his brother -- Woodbury's top dog in the ring -- Holden said Andrea will do whatever she can.
"It's not so easy; she is in a town where it's guarded and the Governor has men who have disarmed everybody. Woodbury almost becomes a cage, like its own prison, in the second part of the season," she teased. "Andrea is going to do anything and everything she can to protect the people she loves."
How do you think the battle between Rick and the Governor will go down? Hit the comments with your thoughts. The Walking Dead returns Feb. 10 on AMC. Check out the latest promo.