Big things are slated to happen in Season 7 of AMC’s “The Walking Dead.” The show left fans reeling after a major cliffhanger in Season 6, suggesting one of the main characters may be dead thanks to Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), a ruthless new addition to the cast.
Entertainment Weekly was able to obtain a first look at the Season 7 premiere via a still image. The photo shows Negan once again wielding his bat, which suggests that viewers may find out sooner rather than later who it was that fell victim to his deadly blows. Executive producer Greg Nicotero — who directed both the Season 6 finale and the Season 7 opener — confirmed this suspicion, telling the publication that following the first episode of Season 7, “The Walking Dead” fans will know which character is no more. He also said that viewers should expect more lengthy speeches from Negan, telling EW that he is the kind of person that simply enjoys hearing himself speak.
“Negan is that kind of guy,” Nicotero said. “He’s the kind of guy who imagines himself on a stage at a high school production and he loves every second of it. So, I don’t really see a lot of quiet contemplative moments with Negan. I feel like with Negan it’s really going to be about him gesticulating and him sort of relishing in the sound of his own voice while he commands that stage in front of whoever’s alive.”
Theories have been cropping up about who may have been the unlucky cast member killed off at the end of Season 6 since the finale aired April 3. While “The Walking Dead” fans will have to wait months to find out for sure, casting news from the Hollywood Reporter suggests a number of the show’s stars are in the clear. Morgan; Tom Payne, who plays Jesus; Austin Amelia, who plays Dwight; and Xander Berkeley, who plays Gregory have all signed on to appear in Season 7 as regulars. As was previously reported, this news should not surprise anyone who read Robert Kirkman’s “Walking Dead” graphic novels before the show.
While fan theories related to “The Walking Dead” have been cropping up in every corner of the internet, AMC has begun taking a stand against specific spoiler groups. In June the network threatened the Spoiling Dead Fans with a lawsuit should they make any public guesses about who Negan killed with his bat Lucille. The group took to their Facebook page to share with fans that AMC had issued a cease and desist letter pertaining specifically to the Season 6 finale.
“Their stance is that making such a prediction would be considered copyright infringement,” the group wrote. “AMC tells us that we made some claim somewhere that says we receive copyright protected trade specific information about the most crucial plot information in the unreleased season of ‘The Walking Dead’ and that we announced we were going to disclose this protected information...The truth is, we have become victims of our own success. We hold a track record for accuracy and now AMC perceives us as a threat.”
“The Walking Dead” is slated to return to AMC in October.