As the premiere for season 8 gets nearer, the cast and showrunners are starting stoke up anticipation for the upcoming episodes of The Walking Dead. Far from being the grim and brutal ordeal that the season 7 opener was, it's being hailed by insiders as being something more dynamic and unexpected. In line with that, Michonne herself - long-time regular Danai Gurira - has stepped up to tell viewers to look forward to something "deeply different" and "unpredictable."
After a mixed reception to season 7, following the harrowing events of the premiere right up until the game-changing events of the finale, fans were left wondering how the next season would deal with the "all-out war" storyline from the comics. As regards the tone and content of the show, we've already had cast member Ross Marquand say that the upcoming season is "the best by far." We've also had showrunner Scott Gimple say that it will run at a breakneck pace from now on. Whilst these may be responses to criticisms aimed at season 7 of the show, it seems to be backed up by what Gurira said in a recent interview.
Speaking to EW, the actress gave her thoughts on the first episode of the new season:
"It is a deeply different season premiere - deeply, deeply different and unpredictable... That's what's amazing about the writers of the show, is that they don't tread the same ground. So you can't be prepared for it. If you thought, 'Well, I've seen this, I've seen that, so I can be prepared for what's coming next' - no, you can't. You won't be prepared."
She then went on to explain the effect that the new storyline was having on the cast;
"We've all been knocked clear off our feet, and there's just so many ways everybody's story is expanded and deepened and sharpened. And the clashes that we're in take turns no one's going to expect. And at the same time, it remains palpably human, you know?"
Obviously there's going to be some bias in Gurira's opinion, but the forthcoming direction for the show certainly sounds promising. Gimple has recently stated that there would be more characters involved in each episode, and some team-ups and relationships that were new to the show, which would seem to reinforce the actresses' last statement. It certainly seems that we shouldn't expect the carnage of the season 7 premiere, or the dark descent that afflicted Rick for much of last year.
Hopefully with the emphasise on the war between the Saviors and the "Ricktatorship," and plenty of elements like Old Man Rick and the 100th episode to look forward to, this could really be a season to put the show back at the top of its flesh-eating game once again.
The Walking Dead season 8 premieres Sunday, October 22nd on AMC