With roughly four months left until AMC's hit zombie series The Walking Dead returns, fans were left with a torturous cliffhanger in the off-season. The Season 6 finale finally introduced us to Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), who kills an unidentified member of Rick's (Andrew Lincoln) crew in the finale's final moments. While we'll likely have to wait until October to see who Negan killed, executive producer Greg Nicotero recently shed some light on the pivotal upcoming Season 7.
In Robert Kirkman's comic books, Negan is introduced in the 100th episode, where he traps the members of Rick's group and kills one of their own as punishment for all the Saviors who have been murdered. Glenn Rhee (Steven Yeun) is the character who buys it in the comics, but we still don't know for sure if his small screen fate is sealed or if it's a different member of Rick's crew that gets slaughtered. IGN recently spoke with Greg Nicotero, who teases that this death will have a major impact on the group, although he didn't reveal who is at the other end of Negan's bat, Lucille.
"It propels our people. It affects our people profoundly, as it does in the comic book. That changes everyone's direction. The main thing about Season 7 is establishing that the world isn't what everybody thinks it is, the world out there. At the end of Season 6, Rick was so confident. 'We're just going to knock out that outpost, we're going to f--k these guys up before they f--k us up,' and it ends with him going, 'Heh, oh well, I had no idea. What I perceived as the world is not even close to what the reality of the world is,' and Negan's there to show him that. Season 7 of The Walking Dead, there's all new worlds that we're going to meet, so it wouldn't have made sense to end a chapter and then start it halfway through the next chapter. You want to end in one place and pick it up."
Yesterday, a rumor surfaced that Negan's victim may in fact be Glenn, since Steven Yeun hasn't been seen on the set in Atlanta over the past few episode, with the actor teasing on his social media accounts that he has been shooting the movie Okja in South Korea. That same report also teased that Lauren Cohan, who plays Glenn's wife Maggie on the show, hasn't been seen since the end of the third episode, but, as it turns out, there's a perfectly logical reason for all of these absences, hinting that the show isn't shooting in the order that the episodes will air. Here's what he had to say about fans' concerns that Negan's presence will overshadow the zombie threat.
"It's always about keeping the walkers present. Especially if you have a great villain like Negan, you still have to have the walkers be present, otherwise you're taking away one aspect of the show, and it's an important aspect of it. So the drama is still there, and the drama basically is the interweaving of the good guys and the bad guys. It's the cowboys and the bad guy coming into the one-horse town. That's what The Walking Dead is. It's always important to keep the walkers relevant in the show. That's why the gags that come up, if there's an episode that doesn't have a ton of walkers, there'll be some awesome gags in it that you'll just be blown away by. I came up with a couple this year that we'll be shooting next week that we've never done before, and I was like, 'Oh, this is going to be cool.'"
A rumor surfaced yesterday that the show will introduce the new character Ezekiel and his tiger Shiva at their annual Comic Con panel next month, with the first trailer heavily focused on this character and his group known as The Kingdom. The network hasn't announced who is playing Ezekiel yet, but Lost star Harold Perrineau recently shot down rumors that he was cast. Stay tuned for more on The Walking Dead Season 7 as we get closer to the premiere date this October.