The Walking Dead has had a remix approach to the comics it’s based on ever since showrunner Scott Gimple took over at the start of Season 4. The show has added material to the story before. The CDC episodes in season 1 and the Grady Memorial Hospital arc in season 5 stand out. Recently, it’s even been teased the Whisperers might show up much sooner than in the comics (hello, Maria Bello). But it’s never outright skipped over the source material. Now Gimple says that could be the case in season 7B.
Speaking with ComicBook, the showrunner implied a “huge departure” in the future. Season 7A has adapted issues 101 and beyond in the comics (which is currently number in the 160s) which chronicle Negan’s reign of terror over the protagonists. The next arc is the full-scale rebellion against his rule, an arc titled “All-Out War,” which he specifically mentions (emphasis added).
“This could be a huge departure from the book. This could be it. There might not be a rebellion. I wouldn’t want to say that there absolutely will be one, but I would also say it’s not a crazy thing to posit that. As far as anything that could possibly move him towards that, if that even were to happen, this is definitely a wait and see . . . The comic is absolutely the basis for the story moving forward and I’ve always followed the belief of following the story from the book. That said, accentuating it in places and extrapolating things that are maybe even just mentioned in the book, playing them out even more fully, and then taking different elements from the book and sort of assigning them to different places really just to bring about some of the feelings and reactions I had when I initially read the book.”
“All-Out War” is as epic as it sounds and probably hugely expensive to realize on-screen. Money and budget issues have caused problems for the show before. It might be a factor behind any deviations.
The Walking Dead‘s next episode “Swear” airs this Sunday, Nov. 27 at 9 p.m. on AMC.