If you’re all caught up on The Walking Dead, you know that Season 6 wrapped up with an especially brutal and major cliffhanger. That being said, this news story contains some minor spoilers for the show, so if you haven’t watched it all, you’ve been warned!
Soon after the controversial episode aired, executive producer Scott Gimple defended the choice to show Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Negan play a sick and twisted game with our heroes, and then force fans to wait until Season 7 to find out who was killed. This left some fans more than unhappy (read: angry).
Now Greg Nicotero is speaking out about the polarizing season finale as well. In an interview with IGN, Nicotero said:
“Season 7 of The Walking Dead, there’s all new worlds that we’re going to meet, so it wouldn’t have made sense to end a chapter and then start it halfway through the next chapter. You want to end in one place and pick it up.”
He also addressed how the moment will affect the characters in the new season:
“It propels our people. It affects our people profoundly, as it does in the comic book. That changes everyone’s direction.”
IGN also notes that while Nicotero did say that the impact of that death will stay true to the impact of that death in the comics, that doesn’t mean who dies is the same; with Nicotero adding:
“The main thing about Season 7 is establishing that the world isn’t what everybody thinks it is, the world out there. At the end of Season 6, Rick was so confident. ‘We’re just going to knock out that outpost, we’re going to f–k these guys up before they f–k us up,’ and it ends with him going, ‘Heh, oh well, I had no idea. What I perceived as the world is not even close to what the reality of the world is,’ and Negan’s there to show him that.”
In speaking about Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s villain Negan, Nicotero had nothing but praise for the newest member of The Walking Dead cast, saying:
“He’s [Jeffrey Dean Morgan] a rock star, that dude. When you watch the DVD [of Season 6], we shot alternate takes [of Negan’s monologue] with him saying ‘f–k’ every other line. On the DVD, you’ll get the full [Negan].”
And with Negan and the Saviors becoming such a huge part of the show, Nicotero promises that Season 7 won’t lose its zombie DNA to the wave of new evil humans.
“It’s always about keeping the walkers present. Especially if you have a great villain like Negan, you still have to have the walkers be present, otherwise you’re taking away one aspect of the show, and it’s an important aspect of it. So the drama is still there, and the drama basically is the interweaving of the good guys and the bad guys. It’s the cowboys and the bad guy coming into the one-horse town. That’s what The Walking Dead is. It’s always important to keep the walkers relevant in the show. That’s why the gags that come up, if there’s an episode that doesn’t have a ton of walkers, there’ll be some awesome gags in it that you’ll just be blown away by. I came up with a couple this year that we’ll be shooting next week that we’ve never done before, and I was like, ‘Oh, this is going to be cool.'”
The Walking Dead: Season 7 premieres in October on AMC.