It’s just about time for “The Walking Dead” to return to AMC after temporarily going off the air in December. Season 7B is going to premiere with a bang, according to showrunners, as Rick and the crew prepare to go to war with Negan and The Saviors.

According to Scott M. Gimple, the opening episode for the latter portion of Season 7 is going to have a very different feel to it. In fact, during an interview with Entertainment Weekly, he promised fans “will see Rick Grimes smile,” by the end of the episode. It’s not clear what Rick (Andrew Lincoln) will be so happy about in the “Walking Dead” midseason premiere, but Gimple assured viewers change was coming.

Gimple wasn’t the only showrunner with something to say about the show’s return. Greg Nicotero, who serves as executive producer on the show, told EW “the thrill of the fight is back” in Season 7B. He promised that the midseason premiere was going to feel like “a movie,” adding that the cast really delivered. Nicotero teased the Alexandrians coming together in the premiere after falling apart in the first portion of the season.

“The midseason premiere is a movie unto itself,” Gimple said. “Angela Kang wrote it, Greg Nicotero directed it, the cast knocked it out of the park — pretty much literally, you’ll see — and the crew pulled it all together, and it was a hell of a lot to pull together.”

Lincoln also had a thing or two to say about what fans could expect to see when he and the gang return. On Jan. 27, the actor responded to fans who felt the first half of the season was too violent, explaining that it was necessary to make viewers understand the pain and anger he and his crew are feeling after Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) killed a handful of their guys. He added that it was “a very cool buildup” to something much bigger,” teasing all out war.

“I think [Scott M. Gimple] really wanted it to feel like the audience, rather than just baying for blood, wanted justice for what had happened. And that, for me, was quite a helpful way of understanding why it had to be so immersive and so painful ‚ certainly for all of us on set and acting in it, but also, I think, for the audience,” Lincoln said to EW.

Photos and a synopsis for the episode verify the statements made by Lincoln and “The Walking Dead” showrunners. According to AMC, much of the second half of Season 7 will focus on Rick and his followers facing the reality of fighting Negan. That means accepting that they’re going to need a larger crew and more supplies than they initially imagined. They will spend much of their time keeping their heads down and doing what they need to get by while building up their inventory and searching for like-minded individuals to help take Negan down.

“The Walking Dead” returns Feb. 12 at 9 p.m. EST on AMC.