Season eight, Kirkman confirmed, will follow the All-Out War arc from the comics as Rick and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) go head to head. In Kirkman’s comics, on which the AMC drama is based, Rick and his fellow band of survivors jump forward after the war with Negan as the source material explores their vision of a brighter future.
One key point that seems to confirm that the show is indeed taking on the time jump is the fact that older Rick is in need of a cane — which [spoiler alert from the comics!] his comic book counterpart needs after sustaining an injury in the fight against Negan.
“You’re supposed to be talking about that, and that is an intriguing tidbit that we did throw out there on purpose, and we’re hoping that people continue to question how it is that fits into the storyline and what it is,” Kirkman said. “Comic book fans know where a scene that looked like that would fall, but it also doesn’t seem like we would be getting to that just yet if you were a comic book fan, so there’s a mystery to that.”
Adding about the pace this season, “We all know it’s the All-Out War storyline. Season eight, we’re trying to do a more fast-paced, action-packed season really focusing on momentum,” Kirkman said. “Over the first seven seasons, we’ve set all the characters into place and now it’s time to break them, to a certain extent.”
In season seven, several new communities — and their respective leaders — were introduced. That included King Ezekiel (Khary Payton) and the Kingdom; the Hilltop with Gregory (Xander Berkeley); as well the so-called Heapsters and Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh); and Negan and his Saviors.