The Season 8 premiere of The Walking Dead - which is also its landmark 100th episode - is barely a month away and the cast is hoping that fans will be just as excited about it as they are.
It is already common knowledge that the new season of the highly rated #AMC series will head straight into the "All Out War" plotline as depicted in the comic book series, whereby Rick Grimes will lead residents of Alexandria, The Kingdom and Hilltop colonies to take on archvillain Negan and his Saviors head-on (while annoying Jadis and her Heapsters as well).
Season 8 Premiere: "Deeply, Deeply Different And Unpredictable"
Danai Gurira, who plays The Walking Dead's dreadlocked warrior Michonne, promises that the upcoming new season will be "deeply different" from what fans had experienced in the rather brutal Season 7, where our heroes were bashed, battered and bruised by Negan and his henchmen.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the actress/playwright explains why viewers should be prepared for the unexpected:
“We don’t tend to tread the same ground twice. It is a deeply different season premiere — deeply, deeply different and unpredictable and very, very rich in the story that’s being told and powerfully acted and all of that. That’s what’s amazing about the writers of the show, is that they don’t tread the same ground. So you can’t be prepared for it. If you thought, ‘Well, I’ve seen this, I’ve seen that, so I can be prepared for what’s coming next’ — no, you can’t. You won’t be prepared."
Gurira also revealed in the same interview that she and her fellow Walking Dead cast members were not only "bowled over" by the premiere, but were also immensely impressed with everything they have seen from Season 8 so far.
“It’s like nothing before. We’ve all been knocked clear off our feet, and there’s just so many ways everybody’s story is expanded and deepened and sharpened. And the clashes that we’re in take turns no one’s going to expect. And at the same time, it remains palpably human, you know? It’s definitely a season that is going to knock everyone off their feet. That, I can guarantee you.”
So, what are some of the unexpected moments seen in the trailer that the show will surely explore throughout Season 8?
"Old Man Rick" Explained In Season 8 Premiere
At the end of The Walking Dead's 100th episode, viewers should also stand by for the reveal of one of the most shocking images from the Season 8 trailer which saw a relatively aged, gray-bearded #RickGrimes lying in bed (with a cane briefly shown).
When asked about the scene by Entertainment Weekly, actor Andrew Lincoln, who plays Grimes, would only disclose the following information:
"I mean, it’s a gray Rick. It’s an older Rick. So by virtue of the fact that you see, that means that it’s in the future."
This nugget of info from the British actor should dispel theories claiming that the images are from an upcoming dream sequence. Then again, it also enhanced some fans' belief that the TV series may introduce a time jump of about one or two years, as depicted in the comics (albeit after "All Out War").
Just like fellow cast member Gurira, Lincoln has been impressed by the new direction that Season 8 has taken:
"I was shocked and kind of excited by it. My instinct was, 'What a great storytelling device.' That was my instinct. I thought it was very interesting, and also gives us an opportunity to do something else a little ahead of the game, which I think is very, very neat."
This new direction will have implications for the show's major characters, especially characters such as Daryl, who is reportedly going rogue throughout the upcoming season.
Season 8: Daryl Plans To Go Rogue
Norman Reedus, who plays fan favorite #DarylDixon and one of the actors who has been with the series since Season 1, is another cast member who believes viewers are going to enjoy Season 8 much more than Season 7.
“There are definite teams now. People are going to be rooting for one team or the other, and it does have more kick to it than it did. I mean, Season 7 was difficult. It was super hard for all of us. But in Season 8, the gang’s back together, and it’s full blown right now. It’s A versus B. It’s your home team fighting your biggest rival, so there definitely will be cheerleaders.”
Last season, Daryl had to endure a fair amount of torture in The Sanctuary for some time. I'm not sure which was worse, having to eat dog food or having to listen to the irritatingly peppy "Easy Street" for hours on end. In the same interview, Reedus was happy to state that in Season 8, his character is "going rogue" and playing by his own rules.
“There’s no dilly-dallying with him. There’s no gray area right now with him. He’s on a mission to do one thing, and sometimes for the good of the group, you veer left a little bit, and he’s still veering right. So, like I said, he’s kind of going rogue a little bit in the beginning. It’s very much unfinished business. And when certain people are trying to plot the overall takeover or the overall battle, he’s on one direct mission. I mean, he was tortured last year. He wants his s— back, and he wants to have revenge, and he’s really not listening.”
Another Walking Dead fan favorite who will be back kicking ass in the new season is Carol Peletier, played by Melissa McBride, who spent much of Season 7 trying to steer away from killing. But with "All Out War" on the horizon, it's time for the old reliable Carol to return, as McBride informs Entertainment Weekly:
“I think given the rise of Negan and all the horrible things that she survived since she left, she does feel a call to duty, and that’s the idea that her family never left. She just went off to save herself, but she knows she’s got to fight and she knows what that means to her."
But having settled in The Kingdom with King Ezekiel (and his CGI tiger) for quite some time, who will Carol be fighting with - The Kingdom or Alexandria?
“Oh, I think it’s both. They’re coming together to fight this one horrible enemy. She’s still got her family that she started out with. They’re all very special to her and now these new factions are moving in and she’s developing relationships with the Kingdom and they’re good people. Good versus bad, that’s what’s so compelling about this because everybody’s just trying to survive. And where do you make that distinction that we’re all doing nasty, ugly things in an effort to survive, but everybody thinks they’re right? Even Negan. He’s like. ‘I’m doing it for these people and they can’t do it. They’d be lost without me.’ It’s very compelling on that level and I am enjoying season 8, I’ve got to say.”
One thing is for certain, fans should be ready for an action-packed season. In an interview with Australian radio, Triple J, Chandler Riggs, who plays Carl Grimes, sums it up best when he said,
"Season 7 was all about building up and getting everyone ready to fight against Negan. This season, there’s going to be lots of explosions, lots of killing, a lot more Negan. Yeah, lots of fighting. Lots of cool stuff. It’s really, really fun this season."
This season can't come soon enough!
The Walking Dead Season 8 will premiere on October 22 on AMC.
Are you excited for The Walking Dead's 100th episode? Let us know in the comments below!
(Source: Entertainment Weekly)