- Start Date: October 22, 2017
- Cast: Andrew Lincoln, Chandler Riggs, Norman Reedus, Melissa McBride, Lauren Cohan, Lennie James
- Director: Greg Nicotero
- Writers: Robert Kirkman, Scott Gimple, Matthew Negrete, Channing Powell
- Showrunner: Scott Gimple
The Walking Dead Season 8 Cast Includes Two Original Characters
Though The Walking Dead hosts the largest character ensemble outside of Game of Thrones, it's still expanding its ranks. Villains abound in the apocalypse, but in season 8, TWD is adding some protagonists to the fray. New recruit Dillon is a veteran survivor of the apocalypse and relies on his rugged good-looks and wit to get by. He's officially described as a "sexy, blue-collar twentysomething whose survival skills include sarcasm." Joining Dillon is Abbud, "an innately likable Muslim American whose nerves are, let's jangled, because let's say, he's flown solo for too long in zombieland."
Read More: Learn More About Dillon and Abbud
The Walking Dead Season 8 Returning Cast Confirmed
As the inevitable war between Rick and Negan approaches, The Walking Dead cast returns (for the most part). Though Glenn is out of the picture, TWD rounds up its biggest team of actors yet. With nearly 20 series regulars on the field of play, the eighth season will feature Andrew Lincoln (Rick), Norman Reedus (Daryl), Lauren Cohan (Maggie), Chandler Riggs (Carl), Danai Gurira (Michonne), Melissa McBride (Carol), Ross Marquand (Aaron), Katelyn Nacon (whose 'Enid' just got bumped up to series regular) and a slew of others. Don't expect the cast list to be quite so long for season 9.
The Walking Dead Season 8 Trailer
Comic-Con gave TWD fans a gift in the form of a five-minute trailer for season 8. Though it plays out more like a sizzle reel than a theatrical trailer, it tells us everything we need to know: the war is real, and better yet, the showdown against the Saviors appears to be a success. We even get to hear Rick's rallying cry: "That bigger world is ours, by right. Those who use and kill, we end them...no matter what comes next, we've won. We've already won!" Negan continues to taunt his victims, of course, and the trailer opens with him suggesting we put our "sh*tting pants on."
Just when the trailer seemed to end, it threw us a curve ball: old man Rick with a Santa beard. For fans of the source material, this hints at the two-year flash-forward that occurs in issue #127. Though this brief shot could well be a red herring, season 8 of TWD seems full of surprises.
Read More: The Walking Dead Season 8 Trailer Is Here
The Walking Dead Season 8 Poster
Long before the official season 8 poster arrived, The Walking Dead social media team copied the key art for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. They swapped out Kylo Ren, Luke, and Rey for Rick, Maggie, and Negan. Below Rick's light-saber pistol read a simple phrase: All Out War. This sentiment is echoed in the most official poster revealed at San Diego Comic-Con. With the iconic profiles of Rick and Negan dominating the frame, their angry armies swell behind them. It's a stand off that can only be settled with all out war.
The Walking Dead Season 8 Has 16 Episodes
Good things come to those who wait, and The Walking Dead knows how to play on their audience's patience. Though many anticipate season 8 to start strong, it's unlikely the much-anticipated war will materialize until partway through the season. With a full, 16-episode order, The Walking Dead aims to give fans over six months of zombie madness (including the inevitable mid-season hiatus). The show is already well passed the 100-episode mark, and with the promise of more seasons to come, The Walking Dead is far from over.
Read More: The Walking Dead Hits 100 Episode Milestone
The Walking Dead Season 8 Spoilers We Know
While it's too early to confirm if the Old Man Rick from the comics will make an appearance, we do know a few other tidbits about the upcoming season. For starters, Daryl and Carol are reunited. According to Scott Gimple, the series showrunner, "The first four episodes [of season 8] will melt people's minds and break their televisions."
In preparing fans for the showdown, Gimple put one character in the cross-hairs: Eugene (Josh McDermitt). Reviewing the season 7 finale, the showrunner reminded audiences, "He said he's Negan in front of everyone...I don't think it looks good for Eugene."
For the biggest potential spoiler yet, set scouts reveal that Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Negan in the show) has rarely been seen filming. If TWD closely follows Robert Kirkman's All Out War arc, then Morgan's purported absence may be due to his character encountering serious trouble in the show. For those familiar with the comics, the bat-swinging baddie gets trapped inside a compound while being hunted by zombies. Negan dead? Maybe in season 8.
Read More: Carol and Daryl Are Reunited
The Walking Dead Season 8 Is Not The Final Season
With 169 issues of The Walking Dead and counting, the show could go on for years. Robert Kirkman once stated that he planned "on doing at least 300 issues, but if I'm having this much fun, then I won't stop there." Though he recently admitted to having an ending to the series in mind, it's clear that AMC has a long way to go before closing the book. Season 8 may be a watershed moment for the series, but so long as the program pulls in its impressive weekly audience, the show will go on. Season 9 is all but guaranteed, though the ultimate survival of Rick Grimes remains in question.
Read More: Upcoming Season is "The Best So Far"
The Walking Dead Season 8 Differences From The Comics Books We Know About
Fans of the comics know not to entirely trust the AMC series. Though it's based on Robert Kirkman's source material, The Walking Dead zigs and zags as it pleases, making changes to characters and plotlines along the way. Season 8 will undoubtedly diverge from the comics in certain places, though it's too early to tell how drastic those changes will be. So far, it seems clear that Kirkman's All Out War arc is at the heart of the season.
Read More: Rick & Maggie Are Ready For War
The Walking Dead Season 8 Premiere Director Is Greg Nicotero
It takes a village to make The Walking Dead, and with a quick glimpse at the show's IMDb page, it's clear how many hundreds of people have worked on the show. While directors like David Boyd, Michael E. Satrazemis, and Ernest R. Dickerson have all directed numerous episodes, it's Greg Nicotero who can claim the most. With 20 TWD episodes under his belt, he's the designated hitter for the team. It's only fitting, then, that Nicotero will helm the premiere episode for the upcoming 8th season.
Read More: Season 8 Premiere Has Tons of Action
The Walking Dead Season 8 Writers Include Robert Kirkman, Scott Gimple, Matthew Negrete
As Robert Kirkman continues to churn out new comics, he does double duty on helping to bring those black-and-white panels to life on the AMC series. With writing credits on 105 episodes and counting, TWD owes much of its success to Kirkman's ability to preserve the source material and help adapt it for the small screen. The comic creator leads a team of writers that includes Matthew Negrete, Channing Powell, Scott Gimple and others who contributed throughout season 7.
Read More: Season 8 Moves Faster Than Any Other Season
The Walking Dead Season 8 News