Warning: this article features spoilers for The Walking Dead Season 7 Finale, as well as some spoilers from the comics…
The Season 7 Finale of The Walking Dead aired this past Sunday and fans of Robert Kirkman’s comic series will recognize that the events of the episode segue nicely into the major 12-issue “All Out War” storyline from the comics, which will most likely encompass most, if not all, of the AMC series’ eighth season. The arc’s title speaks for itself, as Rick (Andrew Lincoln) leads a militia of people from Alexandria, The Hilltop and the Kingdom against Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and his Saviors.
With this storyline approaching, it stands to reason that other major events from the comics are also just around the corner. One of those events occurs in issue 127 of the comic, the issue directly following “All Out War,” which sees the story jump forward in time, taking place over two years later, after the conflict with the Saviors. Rick’s vision for a better world has been realized, but there are many changes in our favorite survivors’ lives, one of which being the mysterious absence of Michonne (Telltale’s The Walking Dead: Michonne does a great job of telling the story of where she was during this time).
Executive producer and showrunner Scott M. Gimple recently spoke to THR about how the show might approach the events that occurred in the comics during that time jump:
“For the people who read the comics, they’re going to be expecting this. We’re doing the book, we do all sorts of variations on it, and then we do things that are inspired by it and then we change things up with a remix. But I will say there are things that happen in that time jump that are referred to that are super interesting. And thus we might see some of that stuff; it might not be the same sort of jump, or we’ll do that two to five years in real time.”
Gimple went on to talk more about his approach to expanding upon events Kirkman refers to in the comics:
“I’ve had a general plan for a long time, and invariably when I do that, there are little things that catch and change that plan, but in general, I think there’s going to be a little bit more content that Robert actually refers to. There’s stuff in there that I was reading that I wondered about, and when I wonder about stuff that I like, I like getting into that stuff [on the show]. We’re definitely going to honor it and do it, but we’re definitely going to have either more of it or possibly do it in a different way.”
Comic book creator Robert Kirkman also weighed in on working together with the show’s writers and producers on such events:
“We’ve talked about whether or not we’ll do everything that’s happened in the comics, all the way up to the most recent issue. That’s something that Scott and I are talking about all the time, and we sit down with all the producers and discuss what we’re going to do and how we’re going to do it because there’s a tremendous amount of budget involved and strategic planning on how to keep the show going. We need to know these things and being able to know these things years in advance is what helps us make this show possible. So we’ve discussed everything.”
The Walking Dead will return for its eighth season this fall on AMC.