When the first trailer for ‘The Walking Dead’ Season Eight dropped, fans were startled by the epilogue which depicted an obviously older Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) waking up in a bed, with a long gray beard and a cane resting nearby. Showrunner Scott M. Gimple quickly shot down a fan theory that this was Rick actually waking up from the coma he had been in at the start of the series, rendering the entire series a dream. That led to the next theory– that the show was going to include a time jump, a development that “shocked and kind of excited” star Lincoln.
“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.”
Lincoln wouldn’t spill too many details about the time jump, but he did offer whatever information that he could, which isn’t a lot.
“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. It will become somewhat clearer after the October premiere. Then again, it may not be. It maybe still is somewhat opaque. I think that that’s possibly all I can say on the matter.”
On the other hand, Gimple stated:
“I will say that we won’t know exactly what that’s about after the first episode. But we will know it about halfway through the season. We won’t quite know what it’s about, and then we’ll get an answer to that about halfway through. It’s something that’s going to play out.”
Executive producer Greg Nicotero added, “It’s definitely not a one-time thing.”
It sounds as though the first half of Season Eight will be told in alternate times, picking up where Season Seven left off, in the midst of the ‘All Out War’ storyline peppered with flash-forwards, possibly to a world dealing with the aftermath.
Nicotero summed things up, saying:
“It’s always fun to get a chance to think about where the show is going and where the characters are going. And that’s a really big moment in the comic book when we sort of jump forward and realize what’s in store for the future. So to just to be able to give a little bit of a hint to that, I think it’s exciting. It shows the audience that we’re committed for this fantastic long-term storytelling and that Rick’s got his sh– together.”
‘The Walking Dead’ returns to AMC on October 22, 2017.
Source: Entertainment Weekly