The bat man returns … soon. OK, soon-ish. To tide us over until The Walking Dead‘s Season 7 premiere on Oct. 23, AMC will air an hourlong preview special this Sunday, August 14 at 9/8CT.
According to the net, the preview — hosted by everyone’s favorite Dead guy Chris Hardwick, and featuring Talking Dead super-guest Yvette Nicole Brown and Austin Amelio, who plays Negan-ite Dwight — “will give fans an early look at what to expect in the upcoming season, featuring exclusive interviews with the cast, executive producers and special guests … as well as behind-the-scenes moments.”
But as Dead heads well know, the EPs and cast are notoriously cagey when it comes to revealing too much — well, anything really — in the way of serious knowledge, leaving us to occupy ourselves by picking apart the latest trailers and images from AMC for clues. Including what the arrival of King Ezekiel — tiger owner and leader of the Kingdom survivor community, played by prolific voice actor Khary Payton — might mean.
“We’re reaching that point where Ezekiel is in the story line and so it’s just a natural progression,” Dead‘s EP-creator-writer Robert Kirkman told reporters at a San Diego Comic-Con press conference. “As we move through the story line we’ll be bringing some characters up there, and some characters up later. But right now, it’s all about Ezekiel and Shiva, as far as new characters.”
And let’s be honest — all we really want to know right now is WHO GOT THE DAMN BAT?!
That’s not lost on Dead EP-director-SFX guru Greg Nicotero.
“Our biggest challenge is you know it’s coming. Ever since issue 100,” he said at the same presser. ” I was talking to Steven [Yeun, who plays Glenn, Negan’s first Grimes Gang victim in the comics] earlier, and we were at breakfast four years ago today when that issue was out. I remember reading it and just thinking how brutal and how unexpected and senseless it felt. We’re going into that moment where we know it’s going to happen, and I think the trickiest aspect of the first episode is living up to the expectation of that moment. Then what’s even more interesting for me, as the director of the episode was, how that changes the direction of the survivors forever. …. It’s agonizing to think about the fact that we’re changing the landscape of our cast.”
The Walking Dead: Season 7 Preview Special premieres Sunday, August 14 at 10/9CT. The Walking Dead returns to AMC Oct. 23 at 9/8CT.
For more on the Season 7 premiere, check out the October issue of Channel Guide Magazine.