'The Walking Dead' season 7 premiere spoilers: New chapter to re-establish show's world

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After ending on a massive cliffhanger, the next and seventh season of AMC’s zombie apocalypse horror drama “The Walking Dead” seems to be gearing up for some major changes for how its main cast of characters will see and experience the world.

In an interview with IGN, executive producer Greg Nicotero said that they stand by the decision to end the show’s season 6 on a cliffhanger, saying that it was necessary to help drive the characters in a new direction.

“It propels our people. It affects our people profoundly, as it does in the comic book. That changes everyone’s direction,” said Nicotero.

When the previous season ended, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and the rest of the Atlanta crew went out to face the Saviors in an effort to preemptively cap off a possible major problem. Learning from their previous mistakes of trying to treat hostile groups of people with compassion in their efforts to live a normal life, only to end up getting bit hard in the end, the survivors adopted a new philosophy of snuffing out problems as soon as they can.

Unfortunately, Rick’s latest plan to try to quickly remove the Saviors from the equation backfired when they bit off more than they could chew and ended up being captured. The season finale then ended with the Atlanta crew coming face to face with the Savior leader, Negan (Jeffery Dean Morgan).

For the next storyline in the series, Nicotero said that season 7 will function mainly as a way to revamp the show’s setting and to change how everybody thinks the world works. Nicotero commented on Rick’s confidence, or rather arrogance, at the end of the previous season; bringing up how the character thought he could take care of the Saviors as easily as any other ragtag bunch of marauders.

Unfortunately for Rick, the Saviors proved him wrong, perhaps fatally so for one of his people. “‘Heh, oh well, I had no idea,'” said Nicotero of what the character must have thought. “‘What I perceived as the world is not even close to what the reality of the world is,’ and Negan’s there to show him that.”

The show’s next season is currently filming, with reports coming in from the set with primary speculations aimed at trying to find out who Negan actually killed. The producers are hard at work in trying to keep season 7’s surprises from leaking out, clarifying that actor presence on set does not necessarily mean anything.

Season 7 of “The Walking Dead” will return this October.