The Walking Dead's Kirkman talks 'All Out War,' that shocking time jump

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The upcoming season of The Walking Dead aims to tackle a few of the biggest moments from the comic series, and now creator Robert Kirkman has opened up about what fans can expect when Season 8 begins.

Spoilers ahead for The Walking Dead comic run!

The San Diego Comic-Con trailer for The Walking Dead revealed a shocking shot of Andrew Lincoln’s Rick Grimes as “Old Man Rick,” rocking a big gray beard and requiring a cane to walk. It looked to be a nod to the time jump in the comics, which took place after the “All Out War” between Rick’s forces and Negan’s Saviors. Kirkman told The Hollywood Reporter the eighth season will answer the question of that apparent time jump in “the first episode,” meaning we could get a peek at the future a whole lot sooner than anyone expected.

Despite the tease, Kirkman said they won’t be skipping over All Out War, a story that’s been brewing for a full season (and makes up a major chapter of the comic story). Here’s an excerpt from his comments:

"We all know it's the All Out War storyline. Season eight, we're trying to do a more fast-paced, action-packed season really focusing on momentum. Over the first seven seasons, we've set all the characters into place, and now it's time to break them, to a certain extent.

[The Walking Dead] has been all about an expanding scale for the last two seasons, and that's really hitting its pinnacle this season. We've got all these different factions, all these different locations — the Hilltop, the Sanctuary — and getting all these people together and continuing to expand the scale in a cool way, but really using all these pieces to their fullest. We’ve spent a lot of time setting these characters up, and now we're going to bash them against each other and see what happens. … This is another continuation of that; this is a very fresh take on the world of The Walking Dead, and we're going to be breaking a lot of new ground this season.”

Best guess for what all that means? It sounds like The Walking Dead could open with a flash-forward at some point in the premiere to set up a mystery for the season (a death, a regime change, etc.), then flash back to the present day to play out the clash with Negan to see how we get there. Or heck, maybe Kirkman is teasing the eventual end of the series, plotting his endgame for the series as a whole?

What do you think is up with that flashback?

The Walking Dead is back October 22 on AMC.

(Via The Hollywood Reporter)

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