The Walking Dead's Season 7 premiere is hands down the most anticipated episode of the entire series to date. Negan has become one of the most iconic characters on television and having only been seen for about 12-minutes. Rounding at the sixth season, he brought his bat down on an unknown victim prompting an insane buzz through Internet comment sections and fans acround the world.
Executive producer, VFX guru, and director of both the Season 6 finale and Season 7 premiere, Greg Nicotero, is fully aware of the eyeballs on his episodes as we barrel towards to answer to "Who did Negan kill?"
"There's no pressure though," Nicotero jokes with Kevin Smith on AMC's Geeking Out. "You're gonna be mad. It was the hardest episode I've ever directed."
Aside from Negan's kill, a lot more is going to happen when the hit AMC series returns in just a few short weeks. "There's so much more that happens in that episode that is more heartbreaking than that moment, that by the time the episode's over it's almost too much. It's that intense," he says. "It just keeps getting worse. It goes lower and lower and lower and lower."
Furthermore, the upcoming season promises to keep up the precedent of darkness which was set at the end of Season 6.
"This season is intense," Nicotero says. "Its the first time we see Rick Grimes scared."
Speaking to Ross Marquand, ComicBook.com had a chance to learn a bit more about what happens in the Season 7 premiere aside from Negan's kill and it really does sound to be all about Rick Grimes. "I think it's the complete emasculation of Rick and you get to see a huge power shift in the group," Marquand says. "What you'll see is that the entire way their society has been structured, the power and the leadership roles, will now be completely thrown on their head. I think people are going to have to adapt to that. People are going to have to look at that world and say, "Is this something that I can truly assimilate into or am I going to have massive issues with this new world that Negan has laid out before us?"
The Walking Dead returns on October 23 at 9 PM ET on AMC. It will be followed by an extended, 90-minute episode of Talking Dead with the entire cast featured in the infamous Negan's line-up scenes. For complete coverage and insider info all season long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.