The tone for The Walking Dead season 7 has been set: Negan (played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan) is going to turn the world, as followers of the "Ricktatorship" have known it, completely upside-down. Executive producer and director Greg Nicotero said as much when he teased what’s to come in the fall’s premiere episode earlier this week, saying that Negan’s love of himself and the theatrics of “command[ing] the stage in front of whoever’s alive” will have a major impact on everyone.
Judging by the season’s official artwork for San Diego Comic-Con, which has just been released by AMC, he’s ready to make Rick and his band of survivors to do the thing they’ve been violently avoiding ever since they first learned about the Saviors - that is, to kneel. In the pic, Negan is shown callously wielding his prized weapon Lucille while the rest of our heroes look up and him and await whatever devastation he’s about to rain down on them.
From left to right, he’s shown standing before Glenn Rhee (Steven Yeun), Rosita (Christian Serratos), Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus), Michonne (Danai Gurira), Abraham Ford (Michael Cuditz), Maggie (Lauren Cohan), Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green), Aaron (Ross Marquand), Carl (Chandler Riggs), and Eugene (Josh McDermitt). Check out the full image below, along with the poster version.
The positioning of all of the characters is a callback to the final scene in season 6, of course, which showed him taunting the group before deciding to put his be-spiked baseball bat to use on one of their heads. Whoever it was is still unknown - theories range everywhere from Glenn, who was the victim in the comic books, to Maggie, to Michonne, to Daryl, to... well, you name it - but it’s certain we’ll find out the answer to that fan-frustrating question when the series first premieres. Nicotero said plainly, “Yes, who was at the receiving end of Negan’s bat will be revealed in the first episode.”
While debuting the "eeny, meeny, miny, moe" shot here, AMC also confirmed that the first trailer for season 7 will be revealed during the show's Comic-Con panel on Friday, July 22nd in Hall H. All of the pictured cast-members -- as well as Greg Nicotero and execs Robert Kirkman, Scott M. Gimple, Gale Anne Hurd, and David Alpert -- will be on-hand to deliver the first-glimpse at the sure-to-be-brutal seventh season and discuss the series with Talking Dead host and panel moderator Chris Hardwick.
This is the second major image of Negan which has been revealed for season 7 so far. The first one showed the character from the opposite vantage point, smirking as he threateningly points his barbed bludgeoning device at the crowd.
The Walking Dead season 7 premieres on AMC on Sunday, October 9th.
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