The Walking Dead season 8: Robert Kirkman on All Out War, flash-forwards

Walking Dead season 8While there was no formal The Walking Dead season 8 panel today at the TCA Summer Press Tour, we did have a chance to see Robert Kirkman make an appearance promoting the show. AMC head Charlie Collier addressed the absence of showrunner Scott M. Gimple and others, stating that they were attending the funeral of late stuntman John Bernecker. This was the second event in which Bernecker’s death was appropriately mentioned, as it was also a subject of conversation while at San Diego Comic-Con this past weekend.

When Kirkman did start to discuss the upcoming season to reporters, one of the things that he noted (quotes via Deadline) was that this really will be one of the most intense batches of episodes that you’ve seen with the various different communities all rallying together against Negan and the Saviors — who do have a little bit of help now via the Scavengers:

It’s a little early, but we all know it’s the all-out war story. So in Season 8 we’re trying to do a more fast-paced season, a more action-packed season, really focusing on momentum, and we feel like over the first seven seasons we kind of set all of the characters into place,  and now it’s time to break them to a certain extent.”

Kirkman also teased that the show would hand down some answers on the “Old Man Rick” reveal at the end of the Comic-Con trailer (which you can watch here) before long, and what plays out should surprise even some fans who are readers of the comics (quote via EW):

“…Was it the time jump? I don’t know, maybe it was Rick waking up from his coma. Wouldn’t that be weird? … [That scene] is an intriguing tidbit that we did throw out there on purpose, and we’re hoping that people continue to question how it is that fits into the story line and what it is. Comic book fans know where a scene that kind of looked like that would fall, but it also doesn’t seem like we would be getting to that just yet if you were a comic book fan, so there’s a mystery to that.”

One of the things that we do wonder is if this is the show realizing its own mortality and trying to move the story onward, given that there should be some sort of momentum at this point towards an ending. When you are eight years into a show, the assumption here has to be that sooner or later, you are going to see things start to wind down. We wrote about that more at length during a recent TV Lifespans piece, explaining the journey that should be explored over the next few years to get us to some sort of formal conclusion.

Ultimately, we shall see what the writers’ plans are more are when season 8 premieres on AMC at some point later this fall. If the past few seasons are a guide, we should assume that the show will start things off as crazy as humanly possible.

What are your hopes/expectations for The Walking Dead season 8? Be sure to share some further thoughts on that subject below, and head over here to get some additional news when it comes to the series. (Photo: AMC.)

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