'The Walking Dead' season 7 premiere spoilers: Greg Nicotero talks about intense exchange between Rick and Negan

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“The Walking Dead” will go even after the dreaded death/s that will be featured in this Sunday’s season premiere; after all, it has just been renewed for season 8. Given that, the show is already mapping out what lies ahead of the Alexandrians following their captivity.

Fans can bet that Rick (Andrew Lincoln) is serious as he quietly issues a bone-chilling death threat to Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) in the promo clip for the upcoming season. The Saviors may still be riding their chariot on a high right now as Negan holds all the power which left the former town sheriff’s deputy and the rest of his crew on their knees. But if “The Walking Dead” is focused on delivering a gut-wrenching death-filled year, which the series appears to be doing, the incident will definitely result in a deep-seated need for revenge on Rick’s part.

Greg Nicotero, who has worked for a long time on the AMC post-apocalyptic show and directed the intense season premiere, revealed that it was important for them to zoom in on Rick and Negan’s exchange as heavily featured in the trailer.

“We start in that extreme close-up of him on the Season 7 sneak peek,” Nicotero recalled in an exclusive phone conversation with TV Guide. “We’re right into it, in his eyes, and into Negan’s eyes. We’re right there. We don’t cut wide. You’re there, listening into what they’re saying. That’s the way Rick’s perspective is tremendously important.”

A critique for the sequence is that it sounds like Rick has a death wish as he straightforwardly threatens to kill Negan just right after he whacked the life out of one his own. However, longtime fans of the show know how much of an Alpha male Rick is, that is the reason why he easily came to be the technical leader of the Alexandrians. Case in point is his reluctance to just succumb to his supposedly new leader.

“You need to get into other people’s heads as well to be able to experience grief and sorrow and fear. So it was a very, very difficult episode to wrap my head around when I got the script because of those perspectives and how the events play out,” Nicotero continued.

With Rick and his squad under Negan’s thumb, at least for a while, it is safe to assume that there will be more conflict on the horizon between the two Alpha males as it is not organic for Lincoln’s character to just roll over and say yes. Needless to say, fans who are rooting for the Alexandrians need to be a bit more patient as there is a promise of light at the end of the dark tunnel.

“The Walking Dead” season 7 will premiere on Oct. 23 and will continue to air every Sunday, 9 p.m. ET on AMC.