Production has been under way on The Walking Dead Season 8 since early May, although there still isn't much revealed about the story quite yet. One of the series regulars, Tom Payne, who plays the Hilltop Colony survivor Jesus, teased that Season 8 will be unlike anything else fans have seen before. Here's what the actor had to say about how this season will be different from Season 7.
"As I just said, the episodes that we're shooting now are some of the best that have ever been shot. There was a sequence that was shot last week which I think is one of the iconic sequences in the show. It was a sequence that was shot which has never happened before in the show. We read the scripts and if it comes off the page as well as it should, there's a lot of fun stuff coming. We're all exhausted mentally and physically but that's because we're all working our asses off to make the show as kick-ass as it can be so I'm super excited for October to come because I want to see stuff that's been shot."
The survivors of The Walking Dead were largely separated throughout various different areas, but in the Season 7 finale, soldiers from the Hilltop Colony and The Kingdom showed up just in time to help Rick and the Alexandrians drive back Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and his Saviors, marking the beginning of a story line in the comics known as All Out War. Showrunner Scott M. Gimple has teased in the past that Season 8 will have a much faster pace. Tom Payne confirmed that Season 7 was a "bummer" to shoot, but the Season 8 premiere, which also marks the 100th Episode, is quite special. Here's what he had to say in his interview with ComicBook.com.
"I mean the last season was a bit of a bummer in a lot of different ways and it was tough for everyone to film and then to watch. That finale was fun with everybody running around with their machine guns. Episode 100 of any show is a special thing and, this show, for it to still be as popular as it is and to keep reinventing itself as it has, is really amazing, an amazing achievement for everyone involved. There are many, many people who have been there from the very beginning and I feel really fortunate to have pretty much just joined the show and be there for this milestone, not just for the show but also for American television."
Tom Payne first joined The Walking Dead in Season 6, and he was promoted to series regular in Season 7. The actor also joked that he told himself he would never do what other Walking Dead cast members do, which is claim that the new season is better than the first. He admitted, though that he had to "bite his tongue," since Season 8 is really better than Season 7. Here's what he had to say.
"I think Season 8, that we're getting into now, it's completely different, first of all. I always told myself I wouldn't say what I've heard other cast members say every other year, which is, 'Oh, the next season is gonna be this! And the new episode is so many superlatives and so many words you use!' And I'm like, 'Come on, you can't say the same things every year!' But then I had to bite my tongue and says, 'Well, actually...' Season 8, the first few episodes are out of this world amazing. We've all been getting them and going, 'Wow, okay we thought that was amazing!' and then the next episode is amazing. The audience is going to be very happy with the direction we're taking. We're all really happy."
We reported a few months ago that the show was adding three more series regulars for Season 8, Pollyanna McIntosh, who plays the Scavengers leader Jadis, Steven Ogg, who plays Simon, one of The Saviors, and Katelyn Nacon, who plays the Alexandria survivor Enid. They join remaining series regulars Andrew Lincoln (Rick), Chandler Riggs (Carl), Norman Reedus (Daryl), Melissa McBride (Carol), Lennie James (Morgan), Lauren Cohan (Maggie), Danai Gurira (Michonne), Alanna Masterson (Tara), Josh McDermitt (Eugene), Christian Serratos, (Rosita), Seth Gilliam (Father Gabriel), Ross Marquand (Aaron), Austin Amelio (Dwight), Tom Payne (Jesus), Xander Berkeley (Gregory) and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Negan). With production continuing on The Walking Dead Season 8, hopefully we'll have more details soon, as we get closer to the fall premiere.