The name "The Walking Dead" instantly conjures images of corpses roaming the earth, but as time goes by in both the comic series and AMC's TV series, fans began to realize the human characters were really the "walking dead," merely staving off time before they become members of the ghoulish horde. During a recent set visit, The Walking Dead showrunner Scott Gimple revealed this concept is one of the main themes of the upcoming Season 8.
"The world is the walkers," Gimple revealed. "But doing that in a very atmospheric way. Like, feeling them all around, and the camera not being right on them, but this little reminder in the corner of the screen, or the far background, or mid-ground, or fore-ground. Just this constant reminder that these groups of humans are running around over this piece of ground, and yet it isn't their world anymore."
Last season, thanks to the ruthlessness of Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), reminded viewers that humans were capable of far more horrific crimes than the walkers, who merely aimed to fulfill primal instincts. While the walkers certainly act as gruesome monsters that motivate many of the characters' actions, the events that unfolded last season remind viewers of the monstrous acts that humans are capable of when given a nudge in the wrong direction.
Gimple continued: "We've been accused of philosophizing. This is about the truth that people will arrive to, or arrive at, rather. It's sort of the meaning of everything. Just as easy as that. Characters are going to have to face some big, big truths about what this has all meant to them. I guess that, in some ways, it's the theme without saying what it is, that what that truth is."
Considering the success George Romero found in exploring how humans reacted to inhuman threats in the Night of the Living Dead series, Gimple is headed in the right direction with the TV series.
The showrunner might not have let many details about Season 8 slip, but he did accidentally utter the dreaded "Z-word" by referring to the monsters as "zombies" instead of "walkers" during the interview.
In regards to the slip of the tongue, Gimple joked, "[Executive producer] Greg's [Nicotero] allowed to, if you look at his resume. I'm not allowed to. The world is the walkers, is what I meant to say."
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The Walking Dead's sibling series Fear the Walking Dead airs Sunday nights at 9 pm ET on AMC. The Walking Dead will return for its eighth season on October 22, 2017. The Season 8 premiere will mark 100 episodes overall for the popular AMC series. For complete coverage and insider info all season long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.