Fans went wild after The Walking Dead‘s season 8 trailer, first released at Comic-Con, dropped an unexpected twist in its final moments. Dubbed the “Old Man Rick” scene, the preview ended with a glimpse at a greying, bearded, bedridden Rick, seemingly a flash-forward to some point in the character’s future.
Of course, it sparked many concerns that The Walking Dead would lean on the ol’ “it was all just a dream” cliché to put a bow on the Rick Grimes saga. But don’t panic; it appears that’s not the case, as showrunner Scott Gimple recently went on record to shoot down those worries. And while we’ll likely have to wait until the new season really gets underway to find out just what’s going on with that scene, it does sound like at least some light will be shed on it during the premiere.
Speaking to EW in a recent interview, Andrew Lincoln confirmed that it is indeed a glimpse of the future that we saw with Old Man Rick and things might just “become somewhat clearer” on October 22nd.
“I mean, it’s a gray Rick. It’s an older Rick. So by virtue of the fact that you see that means that it’s in the future. It will become somewhat clearer after the October premiere. Then again, it may not be. It maybe still is somewhat opaque. I think that that’s possibly all I can say on the matter.”
Elsewhere in the interview, executive producer Greg Nicotero added:
“It’s definitely not a one-time thing,” while showrunner Scott M. Gimple also says that an early look will lead to a later disclosure. “I will say that we won’t know exactly what that’s about after the first episode,” hints Gimple. “But we will know it about halfway through the season. We won’t quite know what it’s about, and then we’ll get an answer to that about halfway through. It’s something that’s going to play out.”
The Walking Dead is slated for a premiere later next month, and we fully expect it to pick up the pace as Rick Grimes and co. will seemingly be put through the wringer, after Gimple previously warned fans that the eighth season is poised to zip along at a brisk clip. It’ll kick off in earnest with the “explosive” opening hour and from there, the “all-out war” involving the Kingdom, Alexandria, and the Hilltop going up against Negan and his demented Saviors will really take hold.