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Rick Grimes, leader of the survivors in hit zombie series The Walking Dead, could be killed off in a future episode.
That’s according to Scott M Gimple, the Walking Dead’s showrunner, who has spoken out about the show’s future plans.
Four central characters – Glenn (played by Steven Yeun), Abraham (Michael Cudlitz), Spencer (Austin Nichols) and Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) – as the long-running AMC show ended its seventh season earlier this month.
Now, Gimple has spoken about his future plans for the show, hinting no character will be safe when the series returns – even long-serving protagonist Rick (played by Andrew Lincoln).
Speaking in a recent interview, Gimple said Rick was as much at risk as any other major character on the show [via We Got This Covered]. “[Rick] will suffer any loss, even his own self, to give his people and other people the life that they should live, where the world belongs to all of them and not just one person. A real life. That’s the only choice, so he’s willing to face the losses.”
Gimple has previously spoken about the possible return of a deceased character, while also teasing that season eight of the show – which premieres in October – will get “straight to the righteous battle” between Rick and Negan’s groups of survivors.
Gimple also hinted recently that there could be a big time jump in Season 8.
Such a move would come as no surprise to fans of The Walking Dead comic books, which sees a leap forward in time around this stage and finds the damaged communities of Alexandria, the Hilltop, The Kingdom and The Sanctuary to have been rebuilt.
Gimple did not rule out a similar move for the hit TV series, telling the Hollywood Reporter: “For the people who read the comics, they’re going to be expecting this.
“We’re doing the book, we do all sorts of variations on it, and then we do things that are inspired by it and then we change things up with a remix. But I will say there are things that happen in that time jump that are referred to that are super interesting. And thus we might see some of that stuff.”
He added: “It might not be the same sort of jump, or we’ll do that two to five years in real time… I’ve had a general plan for a long time, and invariably when I do that, there are little things that catch and change that plan.”
Season 8 of The Walking Dead is set to premiere in October, and Gimple has promised fans of the hit zombie show that it will “melt minds”.