Fans of The Walking Dead who were keeping their eyes wide open for a Greg Nicotero tribute walker during the season finale were disappointed not to find one. The special effects guru and executive producer has become well known for including "tribute zombies" to well known horror characters in episodes he directs. However, even though there was no tribute zombie in the Season 6 finale (though there is a tribute in another form), Nicotero has shared that he had originally planned one for another episode earlier in the season.
Over on his Instagram (which is filled with zombie delights), Nicotero shared a photo of a walker that was originally intended to appear in Season 6, Episode 6, "Always Accountable" (the one when Daryl gets captured by Dwight and co., and Sasha and Abe hide in the auto insurance office). The walker is made up to look like Johnny from George A. Romero's iconic film Night of the Living Dead, the film that basically inspired the entire modern zombie genre. Take a look:
Pretty cool, right? Judging by the background and that suit and tie, I can only imagine that Johnny would have made an appearance during Abraham's scenes shot outside the auto insurance office.
Here he is compared to the original Johnny, and damn are the similarities striking!
Nicotero even notes that in retrospect he should have had Johnny appear in the Season 6 premiere, where he would have had the chance to shoot him in black and white, just like the original Johnny. Oops!
Take a look at the trailer for Night of the Living Dead below:
Throughout their careers, Nicotero and George A. Romero have worked together several times on films such as Land of the Dead, Day of the Dead and Creepshow 2 amongst many more. Nicotero has made several references to Romero's work using tribute zombies over the years, including Bub and Dr. Tongue from Day of the Dead.
'The Walking Dead' will return with Season 7 in October.
What's been your favorite 'Walking Dead' walker tribute?