It’s been a hell of a task keeping Walking Dead spoilers out of the titles of recent posts, but if you haven’t heard that Carl Grimes (played by Chandler Riggs) is being killed off yet, you’re probably not a true fan of the series. Just saying. Fans aren’t the only ones who have been reeling since it was revealed that Carl has been bitten by a zombie. Andrew Lincoln, who plays Carl’s father Rick Grimes, was equally devastated upon hearing the news.
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Here’s what he told The Hollywood Reporter about the phone call he received from showrunner Scott M. Gimple breaking the news.
“My first reaction was silence. Scott Gimple called me up and said, “You’re going to hate this one.” He’s very good about alerting the cast when there’s going to be a [character] death. I tried guessing four times and was nowhere near Chandler Riggs’ name. Scott had to say that it was Carl. I just didn’t speak for a minute. I always thought Carl was going to be the one who led the show forward; that Rick would hand over his boots and revolver when he walked off into the sunset in season 28.”
“It’s huge. When it all happened, it was very difficult because it’s such a departure from the comics and such a shock for all of us. Chandler was on set the day after and I went to see him and we had a chat. Everybody was reeling; I never saw it coming. But that’s the point.”
“It’s one hell of a back-eight [episodes of the season]. It was incredibly sad, as you can imagine. It was challenging for me as an actor, but in a good and exciting way. I was nervous coming to work to try and factor in this radical change in Rick’s life. I was trying to make sense of that as the show continues. This is seismic. As the season progresses, all of us kept saying that this was bigger than Glenn’s death. This is the biggest death [of a character] we’ve ever had and probably ever will have, actually, if you are a comic reader and realize the importance of Carl in the comics.”
The Walking Dead returns for the second half of Season 8 on February 25th. Peep the trailer and synopsis below.
Official Synopsis: Last season Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his group of survivors were confronted with their deadliest challenge yet. With the comfort of Alexandria, they let their guard down, only to be reminded how brutal the world they live in can be.
Feeling powerless under Negan’s (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) rules and demands, Rick advocated the group play along. But seeing that Negan couldn’t be reasoned with, Rick began rallying together other communities affected by the Saviors. And with the support of the Hilltop and Kingdom, they finally have enough fire power to contest the Saviors.
This season Rick brings “All Out War” to Negan and his forces. The Saviors are larger, better-equipped, and ruthless — but Rick and the unified communities are fighting for the promise of a brighter future. The battle lines are drawn as they launch into a kinetic, action-packed offensive.
Up until now, survival has been the focus of Rick and our group, but it’s not enough. They have to fight to take back their freedom so that they can live. So that they can rebuild. As with any battle, there will be losses. Casualties. But with Rick leading the Alexandrian forces, Maggie (Lauren Cohan) leading the Hilltop, and King Ezekiel (Khary Payton) leading the Kingdom — Negan and the Saviors’ grip on this world may finally be coming to an end.
Season 8 of The Walking Dead and Red Machete return Sunday, February 25th.
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