The Walking Dead's Season 8 premiere will be a complete reversal of the premiere which aired almost exactly a year before it. Where the Season 7 premiere saw the characters being victimized by Negan, the Season 8 premiere will see the good guys rallying against their oppressors.
In fact, some are going as far as saying the characters will be viewed as "super heroes"!
The cast and crew of The Walking Dead opened up about the milestone episode during a Walking Dead Season 8 preview special on Sunday night, including showrunner Scott Gimple who made some gigantic promises for the upcoming episodes.
"It sets into motion, with emotion, the next 100 episodes," Gimple said. "It's the fuse that lights, though the episode, and by the end it explodes and starts the season going. After the first episode, the next three episodes are just break neck speed and full of action. I think, probably, the most consecutive action-oriented episodes we've had on the show. Then, things get a little acoustic."
Each of the cast members who weighed in on the new season teased a similar, action-packed, intensely gratifying season...
"For season 8, I'm most excited for the fans because thy get to see us take our own back," Maggie actress Lauren Cohan said. "And I think that the fans are going to be with us and behind us as we turn the train around."
Maggie, who is clearly emerging as a leader in The Walking Dead (especially in the extended clip from the Season 8 premiere), set the example during the preview special before other cast members playing characters on Rick's side of the war weighed in.
"The thing I'm most looking forward to in Season 8 is how quickly it starts," Tara actress Alanna Masterson said. "This is like cold open, bang! And it doesn't stop for the whole season."
Tom Payne joined the show in its sixth season as Jesus but has not been a part of the series when Rick Grimes is rallying the survivors around him. Instead, he has witnessed much of the downtrodden version of the characters around him. Payne is excited to see it all change. "On set, the attitude was very much, 'Yeah, we're gonna do this! We're gonna take the fight back!'" Payne said. "Everyone was very excited to have the guns in hand and be the aggressors for once in the situation and not be cowered by Negan in that instance."
What does it all add up to? The Kingdom's Jerry actor Cooper Andrews cheers for the upcoming episode with a gleeful tease. "For the fans in Season 8, you're gonna see your characters turn into super heroes this year," Andrews said. "You're gonna see your characters go through some hard times and you're gonna see them at some of their strongest moments. As a fan, I'm just, 'Ahhh!'"
On the other side of the fence, Season 8 might be a little different. The Saviors are eager to get even with Rick Grimes for his rally in the Season 7 finale.
Chief among those characters is Negan.
"He's got a guy that's not getting with the program," Negan actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan said. "Negan's had it his way with the different communities for a long time and then there's this guys who's just a pain in his ass. He's trying to figure out, obviously, how he's going to deal with Rick. I guess we're gonna find out in Season 8how that plays out. He's not happy. He's not happy certainly with how things ended off in Season 7. I think he's a little fascinated about the tiger aspect of it all but I think he's had it up to his eyeballs with Rick. He wants to have a sit down, for sure."
Then, there is Josh McDermitt, who is burdened with playing Eugene Porter. In Season 7, Eugene appeared to have switched sides and betrayed Rick in favor of Negan, who appeared to have the upper hand.
"I'm just really excited for them to see this war that has come to The Walking Dead universe, that is coming to Alexandria, and Hilltop and the Kingdom, and the Sanctuary," McDermitt said. "These gorups are fighting and that's always exciting to see."
The Walking Dead's sibling series Fear the Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 pm ET on AMC. The Walking Dead will return for its eighth season on October 22, 2017. The Season Eight premiere will mark 100 episodes overall for the popular AMC series. For complete coverage and insider info all season long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.