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The Walking Dead showrunner promises 'kinetic, breakneck' season 8

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Gene Page/AMC

WAR! It is finally upon us on The Walking Dead now that Alexandria, the Hilltop, and the Kingdom have combined forces to take on Negan. The season 7 finale was an action-packed smorgasbord of gunfire, tiger attacks, coffin attacks, and deadly threats. So what’s next? Star Andrew Lincoln says he doesn’t know much, but what he does know has him more excited than ever to return.

So we spoke to the guy who does know, showrunner Scott. M Gimple, who notes that not only will the pace be faster in season 8 due to the subject matter, but that there may be less of the self-contained episodes that focused solely on a particular community.

“By virtue of the fact that the narrative has turned into one of pretty intense conflict, says Gimple, “it’s going to affect the structure in ways that make it a bit more kinetic, a bit more breakneck — shifting away from entire stories in one episode, and sort of fractured over several episodes, with little pieces of each story coming together.”

Gimple says that even as they were working on season 7 and dedicating stories to deep character dives on folks like Morgan, Tara, Rosita, and Sasha, he realized the following year would have a different feel once the battle was joined. “I remember talking about that with [co-executive producer] Angela Kang early on in season 7,” says Gimple. “Because we knew the way that 7 was going to be structured, and we knew we wanted to mix it up in 8, and we knew what 8 was going to be and how that would dictate a very different kind of structure anyways. So, yeah, things are going to move, and possibly not have the kind of deep dives into characters in single episodes, but rather laying out the pieces as we go on.”

Those pieces will begin to be laid when season 8 of The Walking Dead commences production on Monday, May 1.