Season 11 of the HBO comedy followed Larry (the character played by David as an exaggerated version of himself) trying to get out of building a fence for his pool after a burglar drowned in it, and it turns out he almost drowned as well.
In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, showrunner Jeff Schaffer revealed that because they treat every season as the potential finale, he "wanted to prepare as if it was the last one," so they filmed a scene in which Larry dies.
"So Larry kept falling into that pool without the fence and banging his head [for the scene]," Schaffer explained. "We actually have a shot after he'd fallen in, of the still pool with just the envelope floating in the middle, and maybe adding one bubble… We shot as if it was going to be the last one ever. I had to at least prepare for it."
John P. Johnson/ HBO Larry David on 'Curb Your Enthusiasm'
According to Schaffer, season 11's storyline just "lent itself too perfectly" not to get the scene, which of course ultimately wasn't used. "We just got high and wide on the pool, with one light shining on it and the envelope floating in the middle," he recalled. "And we said, 'OK, if this is how we go, this is how we go!'"
As for how the show's star and creator felt about it all, Schaffer said David told him at the time that he was "not ready to die" on the show. And true to his word, David and Schaffer are now hard at work on season 12 of the beloved series, which has spanned two decades and more than 100 episodes.
So, given that every new batch of episodes is treated as a potential series ender, will they shoot a new death scene each season moving forward? "No," Schaffer said. "But always thinking, 'Hey, what if this is it?'"