With the mid-season premier of ‘The Walking Dead’ returning Sunday night fans are ready for something big. They have waited patiently while their minds were played with over Glenn’s possible death and the endless cliff hangers. Many want the series to bring in more of the comic book story lines and many say they expect someone from the main group to get killed.

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THR recently spoke with showrunner Scott M. Gimple, creator Robert Kirkman and executive producer Greg Nicotero and what’s coming for our favorite group of survivors.

“Rick’s group has an extremely deep knowledge base and skill set on how to survive that a lot of people [at Alexandria] don’t have,” Gimple tells The Hollywood Reporter. “The second half, we answer the question: What do they do with that power? What is their responsibility? How can they create a future? What does that look like? You see the billboards and ads about this this larger world … they are going to find that the world wasn’t exactly what they thought it was in every way — in very practical ways and even in philosophical ways — and how are they going to handle that.”
For his part, Kirkman described the second half of the season as a “transitional period for The Walking Dead.” The comic book creator and series exec producer told THR that there will be a lot of “new elements” added to go with “a lot of big changes” that are going to be happening.
“It will really set the stage for what’s going to come and the many seasons that will hopefully come after this,” Kirkman said, calling Sunday’s midseason premiere “a very big turning point in the series.”
While Sunday’s episode could rip multiple scenes from the comic series — Jessie and her sons all die in their bid to escape Alexandria during the walker invasion — Kirkman said he hoped viewers would share his opinion that The Walking Dead really is a “very hopeful and optimistic” series.
I think at times, people would find [that] hard to believe, but after the midseason premiere, that’s a little more clear,” he said. “I think more people will see the optimism that actually does exist at the core of the show.”

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Negan’s arrival is has all but been confirmed and we know the promo’s touting ‘A larger world’ means outside of Alexandria.

“We’re always trying to show that there’s a larger world out there,” exec producer Greg Nicotero tells THR. “It’s not just about what’s inside the walls of Alexandria. What we’ve done in the first half of the season is show yes, it’s a larger world and there’s lot of threats out there — we had the Wolves and the walkers — and there’s a lot of unknowns out there.”
Nicotero, who directed the midseason premiere as well as the season six finale, called the second half of the season the “most exciting, dramatic change in the show.”
“We’re now coming upon a group of people who are formidable [Negan and the Saviors] and somebody that Rick is not going to be able to take care of as easily as he did with the people at Grady Memorial, Terminus or the Governor’s group. This is a whole other animal and we’re taking the show in a whole other direction. The finale is the 15th episode I’ve directed and every episode is a different set of challenges and I love [the midseason premiere] but the finale is the best work I’ve done on the show.”

We can’t wait. This season has renewed our love for the show. It returns Sunday, Feb 14th at 9pm on AMC.

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source: The Hollywood Reporter