‘Walking Dead’: So What’s Gonna Happen With Negan After His Big Mid-Season Finale Moment?

(Spoilers ahead for the season 9 mid-season finale of “The Walking Dead” on AMC)

For the entirety of season 9 of “The Walking Dead” so far, Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) has been stuck in one spot: his jail cell in Alexandria. We’ve spent some time with him occasionally, as he taunts those who visit him. This week, it’s Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) who bears the brunt of Negan’s heckling.

And it’s Gabriel who seemingly made a big mistake that will change the course of Negan’s future. Late in the episode, after flustering Gabriel with his usual smack talk — Gabriel was anxious and not in the mood because he was worried about Rosita and couldn’t go see her because he was on Negan duty. Gabriel closes the cell and storms off, and that night Negan discovers that the cell door is not actually locked.

Also Read: That Wild ‘Walking Dead’ Mid-Season Cliffhanger Explained

And then he walks right out of there, and that’s where Negan’s story leaves off as we head into the mid-season hiatus.

Now, Negan had a pretty key part to play in comic book the upcoming war with the Whisperers, those folks who we discovered were disguising themselves as zombies at the end of the mid-season finale. The TV version of “The Walking Dead” is already taking him in at least a mildly different direction, though it’s likely for the sake of condensing his story a little bit.

In any case, I’m about to get into what Nega gets into after leaving Alexandria in the comics, which means potential spoilers ahead for the latter half of season 9 of “The Walking Dead.” Just FYI.

In the comics, Negan discovers his cell unlocked but actually doesn’t leave. He wants to stick around to try to earn Rick’s trust and show that he’s reforming. This does not work. So when a teenage boy named Brandon Rose decides to break Negan out in a bid to get revenge on both Rick, who killed his father, and the Whisperers, who killed his mother, Negan takes him up on the offer.

Also Read: ‘Walking Dead’: Here’s What We Know About Georgie So Far

Brandon wants to try to force the Whisperers and Alexandrians to kill each other by leaking Rick’s war plans to the Whisperers. But Negan has other ideas, and murders Brandon before heading to the Whisperer camp and pretending that he wants to join them. After a lengthy chat with Alpha, the Whisperer leader, about life as a Whisperer, Negan kills her and sneaks out of camp with her head.

He takes the head back to Alexandria, and Rick allows him a measure of freedom in exchange for fighting in the rest of the war against the Whisperers, which he does. During the war Negan accidentally breaks his bat, Lucille, in the fighting, and at one point he even saves Rick’s life. After it all ends, Negan gets his freedom for real and he goes off to live in the woods by himself.

While he’s out there, he eventually is confronted by Maggie in a sequence that has already played out in the show several weeks ago — when Maggie (Lauren Cohan) visited Alexandria to put Negan down for good but couldn’t bring herself to do it because he was so pathetic.

Also Read: ‘Walking Dead’: Are We Going to See Maggie Again This Season – or Ever?

Now, the part of this story that will certainly not play out on the TV version of “The Walking Dead” is all the Brandon Rose stuff, because that character does not exist on the show. As you might have guessed from the name, Brandon is Tammy Rose’s son. But everything about Tammy Rose (Brett Butler) on the show is different — she’s married to Mr. Sutton, and their son Kenneth died in the season 9 premiere.

So with that being the case, and with Rick (Andrew Lincoln) out of the picture, showrunner Angela Kang and the show’s writers decided to apparently just have Negan bail when he found his cell was unlocked and skip all that other stuff. Of course, what comes next is still an unknown, as the show has demonstrated an increasing willingness to go off book the last couple years.

But it’s going to be a couple months until we get to find out for sure where Negan’s story will go, now that “The Walking Dead” is on hiatus.

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘The Walking Dead’: The Most Shocking and Disturbing Deaths So Far

‘Walking Dead’: Here’s What We Know About Georgie So Far

‘Walking Dead’: Are We Going to See Maggie Again This Season – or Ever?

(Spoilers ahead for the season 9 mid-season finale of “The Walking Dead” on AMC)

For the entirety of season 9 of “The Walking Dead” so far, Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) has been stuck in one spot: his jail cell in Alexandria. We’ve spent some time with him occasionally, as he taunts those who visit him. This week, it’s Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) who bears the brunt of Negan’s heckling.

And it’s Gabriel who seemingly made a big mistake that will change the course of Negan’s future. Late in the episode, after flustering Gabriel with his usual smack talk — Gabriel was anxious and not in the mood because he was worried about Rosita and couldn’t go see her because he was on Negan duty. Gabriel closes the cell and storms off, and that night Negan discovers that the cell door is not actually locked.

And then he walks right out of there, and that’s where Negan’s story leaves off as we head into the mid-season hiatus.

Now, Negan had a pretty key part to play in comic book the upcoming war with the Whisperers, those folks who we discovered were disguising themselves as zombies at the end of the mid-season finale. The TV version of “The Walking Dead” is already taking him in at least a mildly different direction, though it’s likely for the sake of condensing his story a little bit.

In any case, I’m about to get into what Nega gets into after leaving Alexandria in the comics, which means potential spoilers ahead for the latter half of season 9 of “The Walking Dead.” Just FYI.

In the comics, Negan discovers his cell unlocked but actually doesn’t leave. He wants to stick around to try to earn Rick’s trust and show that he’s reforming. This does not work. So when a teenage boy named Brandon Rose decides to break Negan out in a bid to get revenge on both Rick, who killed his father, and the Whisperers, who killed his mother, Negan takes him up on the offer.

Brandon wants to try to force the Whisperers and Alexandrians to kill each other by leaking Rick’s war plans to the Whisperers. But Negan has other ideas, and murders Brandon before heading to the Whisperer camp and pretending that he wants to join them. After a lengthy chat with Alpha, the Whisperer leader, about life as a Whisperer, Negan kills her and sneaks out of camp with her head.

He takes the head back to Alexandria, and Rick allows him a measure of freedom in exchange for fighting in the rest of the war against the Whisperers, which he does. During the war Negan accidentally breaks his bat, Lucille, in the fighting, and at one point he even saves Rick’s life. After it all ends, Negan gets his freedom for real and he goes off to live in the woods by himself.

While he’s out there, he eventually is confronted by Maggie in a sequence that has already played out in the show several weeks ago — when Maggie (Lauren Cohan) visited Alexandria to put Negan down for good but couldn’t bring herself to do it because he was so pathetic.

Now, the part of this story that will certainly not play out on the TV version of “The Walking Dead” is all the Brandon Rose stuff, because that character does not exist on the show. As you might have guessed from the name, Brandon is Tammy Rose’s son. But everything about Tammy Rose (Brett Butler) on the show is different — she’s married to Mr. Sutton, and their son Kenneth died in the season 9 premiere.

So with that being the case, and with Rick (Andrew Lincoln) out of the picture, showrunner Angela Kang and the show’s writers decided to apparently just have Negan bail when he found his cell was unlocked and skip all that other stuff. Of course, what comes next is still an unknown, as the show has demonstrated an increasing willingness to go off book the last couple years.

But it’s going to be a couple months until we get to find out for sure where Negan’s story will go, now that “The Walking Dead” is on hiatus.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'The Walking Dead': The Most Shocking and Disturbing Deaths So Far

'Walking Dead': Here's What We Know About Georgie So Far

'Walking Dead': Are We Going to See Maggie Again This Season – or Ever?

Armie Hammer Apologizes for ‘Unnecessary’ Stan Lee Comment About Grieving

Armie Hammer is apologizing for a series of comments he made in the wake of Marvel co-creator Stan Lee’s death on Monday.

As celebrities and fans alike paid their respects to Lee online, Hammer criticized those who chose to post selfies or photos with Lee, saying in a since deleted tweet that it was a way of making Lee’s death about themselves. Hammer’s comment was called out by many online, including actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan.

“While attempting to provide some unnecessary social commentary about the current selfie culture, I (in true asshat form – thank you Jeffrey Dean Morgan) inadvertently offended many who were genuinely grieving the loss of a true icon,” Hammer said in a statement on Twitter Thursday. “I want to apologize from the bottom of my heart and will be working on my Twitter impulse control.”

pic.twitter.com/ba8Sn4XLAW

— Armie Hammer (@armiehammer) November 15, 2018

Also Read: Stan Lee Didn’t Get to See His ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ Cameo Before He Died

Hammer deleted his initial tweet, but some of his replies to fans doubling down or clarifying his comments are still live. He later clarified that he too previously worked with Lee and hoped that people would share his work and strive to make their posts about him, not about “how cool you felt taking a picture with him.” He also bemoaned that the modern reaction to process a celebrity’s death is to “post a selfie,” saying we need “a cultural revamp across the board.”

“Looks like you’ve found a way to use others ways of mourning to draw some attention to yourself,” Dean Morgan said in a reply on Twitter. “You sound like a real asshat.”

See their whole exchange screen-capped here and below.

If Stan impacted your life (ie. All of our lives) with his work, post his work that touched you the most. Posting a selfie makes his death about you and how cool you felt taking a picture with him.

— Armie Hammer (@armiehammer) November 12, 2018

Me…. too…?

— Armie Hammer (@armiehammer) November 12, 2018

If your answer is “post a selfie” then I think we need a cultural revamp across the board.

— Armie Hammer (@armiehammer) November 12, 2018

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Armie Hammer Fires Back (Again) at Culture Writer: ‘Your Glass Seems Chronically Half Empty’

Armie Hammer is apologizing for a series of comments he made in the wake of Marvel co-creator Stan Lee’s death on Monday.

As celebrities and fans alike paid their respects to Lee online, Hammer criticized those who chose to post selfies or photos with Lee, saying in a since deleted tweet that it was a way of making Lee’s death about themselves. Hammer’s comment was called out by many online, including actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan.

“While attempting to provide some unnecessary social commentary about the current selfie culture, I (in true asshat form – thank you Jeffrey Dean Morgan) inadvertently offended many who were genuinely grieving the loss of a true icon,” Hammer said in a statement on Twitter Thursday. “I want to apologize from the bottom of my heart and will be working on my Twitter impulse control.”

Hammer deleted his initial tweet, but some of his replies to fans doubling down or clarifying his comments are still live. He later clarified that he too previously worked with Lee and hoped that people would share his work and strive to make their posts about him, not about “how cool you felt taking a picture with him.” He also bemoaned that the modern reaction to process a celebrity’s death is to “post a selfie,” saying we need “a cultural revamp across the board.”

“Looks like you’ve found a way to use others ways of mourning to draw some attention to yourself,” Dean Morgan said in a reply on Twitter. “You sound like a real asshat.”

See their whole exchange screen-capped here and below.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Armie Hammer, Lily James to Star in Romantic Thriller 'Rebecca' for Netflix

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Armie Hammer Fires Back (Again) at Culture Writer: 'Your Glass Seems Chronically Half Empty'

Jeffrey Dean Morgan Calls Out Armie Hammer For Criticizing Stan Lee Fan Tributes

“The Walking Dead” actor said Hammer sounded “like a real asshat” by throwing shade at tributes to the late Stan Lee.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan joined the growing backlash against Armie Hammer after the “Call Me By Your Name” star took to social media to criticize how comic book and film fans were mourning the late Stan Lee. In a since-deleted tweet posted on November 12, the day of Stan Lee’s passing, Hammer took issue with fans posting pictures of themselves to honor the comic book legend.

“So touched by all of the celebrities posting pictures of themselves with Stan Lee.” Hammer said on social media (via People). “No better way to commemorate an absolute legend than putting up a picture of yourself.”

Hammer elaborated on his opinion when he replied to a fan, “If Stan impacted your life (ie. All of our lives) with his work, post his work that touched you the most. Posting a selfie makes his death about you and how cool you felt taking a picture with him.”

Morgan called out Hammer for being something of a hypocrite for sharing these thoughts on the day of Lee’s passing. “Looks like you found a way to use others ways of mourning and their memories to draw some attention to yourself,” the actor said. “You sound like a real asshat.”

Hammer later pointed to Mark Ruffalo’s tribute post as being an example of an appropriate one. Ruffalo, who stars as Bruce Banner/The Hulk in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, posted a tribute to Stan Lee on his own social media pages with a photo of the comic book legend posing next to a Hulk statue.

“Actually, yes,” Hammer said when asked by a fan if Ruffalo’s post was the right thing to do. “This was an example that stood out and made me think his post was actually about Stan.”

Hammer next stars opposite Felicity Jones in the Ruth Bader Ginsburg biopic “On the Basis of Sex,” in theaters this Christmas. Morgan, meanwhile, is a regular cast member on AMC’s “The Walking Dead.”

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‘Walking Dead’: Was That a Huge Time Jump There?

(Spoilers ahead for the ending of the Nov. 4 episode of “The Walking Dead” on AMC)

The fifth episode of season 9 of “The Walking Dead” was one hell of an eventful one, as it functioned as a goodbye episode for Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) — though it’s just be a temporary goodbye, since Rick will return in a series of AMC-produced films — as well as closing out the story of the immediate fallout of the war with the Saviors.

And it also gave us a humongous time jump.

After Jadis took Rick away on that mysterious helicopter to who-knows-where, the scene shifts to an unknown group of survivors led by a woman named Magna (Nadia Hilker), who are having a pretty fraught confrontation with a bunch of zombies when they’re rescued by a young girl wearing a familiar police hate. That girl’s name? Judith Grimes.

Also Read: ‘Walking Dead’: Everything We Know About Jadis and the Helicopter

This Judith is clearly much older than the Judith we know and is old enough to both speak clearly and confidently and also accurately shoot a revolver. Assuming she isn’t lying about her identity, this means that we’ve skipped ahead a few years.

This time skip is one we’ve been anticipating, because it happened in the “Walking Dead” comics between the war with the Saviors and the whole thing with the Whisperers that we have coming up later this season. In the comics that jump was two years. On the show, we don’t yet have enough information to know how much time has passed, but we can presume it’s been at least two years and maybe more than that — in fact, I would think it is more than that.

Unfortunately, it’s way too soon to guess about the state of everything after this time jump. Obviously, Judith is still alive, though it’s certainly odd that she was just out in the woods by herself — even though she’s clearly able to handle herself, she’s still extremely young. And they’re not going to kill major characters off screen, so everybody else is almost certainly still alive as well.

Also Read: ‘Walking Dead’: Who Is Magna and Her New Group of Survivors?

That sequence is similar to how Magna and friends meet up with the Alexandrians in the comics, though it involved Jesus saving them instead of Judith.

So, what should you expect from here? Well, Rick is going to be out of the picture apparently forever — at least for the series itself, though there may well be some crossover events here and there. But with those movies probably a year away, he’s irrelevant for the moment. For now., we’ll probably get a couple episodes catching up on the new post-time skip status quo and a slow burn introduction to the Whisperers, who are survivors who disguise themselves as and worship zombies.

In the comics it takes a little bit for everyone to recognize the Whisperer threat, and so what we’ll probably see is a gradual ramping up of that conflict like what we saw with the Saviors in the last few episodes of season 6 before Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) showed up and got that war started in earnest. And then in the latter half of season 9, which will start next spring, we’ll get fully into a new war between our good guys and the Whisperers.

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Walking Dead’: Everything We Know About Jadis and the Helicopter

‘Walking Dead’: Andrew Lincoln and Rick Grimes Will Return in a Series of TV Movies

‘Walking Dead’: Who Is Magna and Her New Group of Survivors?

(Spoilers ahead for the ending of the Nov. 4 episode of “The Walking Dead” on AMC)

The fifth episode of season 9 of “The Walking Dead” was one hell of an eventful one, as it functioned as a goodbye episode for Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) — though it’s just be a temporary goodbye, since Rick will return in a series of AMC-produced films — as well as closing out the story of the immediate fallout of the war with the Saviors.

And it also gave us a humongous time jump.

After Jadis took Rick away on that mysterious helicopter to who-knows-where, the scene shifts to an unknown group of survivors led by a woman named Magna (Nadia Hilker), who are having a pretty fraught confrontation with a bunch of zombies when they’re rescued by a young girl wearing a familiar police hate. That girl’s name? Judith Grimes.

This Judith is clearly much older than the Judith we know and is old enough to both speak clearly and confidently and also accurately shoot a revolver. Assuming she isn’t lying about her identity, this means that we’ve skipped ahead a few years.

This time skip is one we’ve been anticipating, because it happened in the “Walking Dead” comics between the war with the Saviors and the whole thing with the Whisperers that we have coming up later this season. In the comics that jump was two years. On the show, we don’t yet have enough information to know how much time has passed, but we can presume it’s been at least two years and maybe more than that — in fact, I would think it is more than that.

Unfortunately, it’s way too soon to guess about the state of everything after this time jump. Obviously, Judith is still alive, though it’s certainly odd that she was just out in the woods by herself — even though she’s clearly able to handle herself, she’s still extremely young. And they’re not going to kill major characters off screen, so everybody else is almost certainly still alive as well.

That sequence is similar to how Magna and friends meet up with the Alexandrians in the comics, though it involved Jesus saving them instead of Judith.

So, what should you expect from here? Well, Rick is going to be out of the picture apparently forever — at least for the series itself, though there may well be some crossover events here and there. But with those movies probably a year away, he’s irrelevant for the moment. For now., we’ll probably get a couple episodes catching up on the new post-time skip status quo and a slow burn introduction to the Whisperers, who are survivors who disguise themselves as and worship zombies.

In the comics it takes a little bit for everyone to recognize the Whisperer threat, and so what we’ll probably see is a gradual ramping up of that conflict like what we saw with the Saviors in the last few episodes of season 6 before Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) showed up and got that war started in earnest. And then in the latter half of season 9, which will start next spring, we’ll get fully into a new war between our good guys and the Whisperers.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Walking Dead': Everything We Know About Jadis and the Helicopter

'Walking Dead': Andrew Lincoln and Rick Grimes Will Return in a Series of TV Movies

'Walking Dead': Who Is Magna and Her New Group of Survivors?

Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Connie Nielsen to Star in Drama ‘Postcard Killings’

Jeffrey Dean Morgan, star of AMC’s series “The Walking Dead,” and Connie Nielsen have signed on for the Janusz Kaminski-directed thriller “The Postcard Killings.” The two will co-star in the film adapted from James Patterson and…

Jeffrey Dean Morgan, star of AMC’s series “The Walking Dead,” and Connie Nielsen have signed on for the Janusz Kaminski-directed thriller “The Postcard Killings.” The two will co-star in the film adapted from James Patterson and Liza Marklund’s bestseller. The film follows a New York detective (Morgan) whose life is thrown into turmoil when he […]

‘The Walking Dead’s Jeffrey Dean Morgan, David Strathairn To Star In ‘Walkaway Joe’ From SwingLake Entertainment

Jeffrey Dean Morgan (The Walking Dead) and David Strathairn (The Bourne Ultimatum) are set as leads in SwingLake Entertainment’s Walkaway Joe, which is being helmed by first-time feature director Tom Wright. Julian Feder and Julie Ann Emery also …

Jeffrey Dean Morgan (The Walking Dead) and David Strathairn (The Bourne Ultimatum) are set as leads in SwingLake Entertainment’s Walkaway Joe, which is being helmed by first-time feature director Tom Wright. Julian Feder and Julie Ann Emery also star in the pic that began production last month in St. John's Parish, Louisiana. Written by Michael Milillo, the story follows Dallas who takes to his bicycle to find his pool-hustling father who abandoned his family. Enter Joe…

Jeffrey Dean Morgan, David Strathairn to Star in Family Drama ‘Walkaway Joe’

Jeffrey Dean Morgan, David Strathairn, Julian Feder and Julie Ann Emery are starring in the family drama “Walkaway Joe,” which has begun shooting in St. John’s Parish, La. Tom Wright is helming in his directorial debut from a script by Mich…

Jeffrey Dean Morgan, David Strathairn, Julian Feder and Julie Ann Emery are starring in the family drama “Walkaway Joe,” which has begun shooting in St. John’s Parish, La. Tom Wright is helming in his directorial debut from a script by Michael Milillo. “Walkaway Joe” is the story of an unlikely friendship between a teenage boy […]

‘Walking Dead’: Are Maggie and Daryl Still Planning to Turn Against Rick?

(Spoilers ahead for the season 9 premiere of “The Waking Dead” on AMC)

One of the big moments from the season 8 finale of “The Walking Dead” that you may have forgotten about was the creepy scene with Maggie (Lauren Cohan), Jesus (Tom Payne) and Daryl (Norman Reedus), in which they discussed how the war with the Saviors ended and how extremely unhappy they were with Rick (Andrew Lincoln) for sparing Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan).

Rick could have just let Negan bleed out, but he chose not to. Maggie, whose husband Glen was murdered by Negan, was really mad about it. And she seemed to indicate that she planned to take some kind of action against Rick because of it.

Also Read: ‘Walking Dead’ Leaders Ranked, From Gregory to Maggie to Ezekiel

In case you forgot this scene, it went like this:

Maggie: “We have a lot to do. We have to build this place up. Make it work better than before. Make it thrive for the people who live here. We need our strength. The ability to defend ourselves better. We have to have that.”

Jesus: “We will.”

Maggie: “But Rick and Michonne — Rick was wrong to do what he did. Michonne too. So we’re gonna bide our time. Wait for our moment. And then we’re gonna show him.”

Daryl, stepping out of the shadows: “Yeah. We will.”

Also Read: ‘The Walking Dead’ Teases Rick Grimes’ Final Episodes in New Season 9 Trailer (Video)

There’s not much in the season 9 premiere to indicate that they have plans in motion to oust Rick or otherwise “show him.” Or, at least, there wasn’t a scene in the episode in which they said they were doing something along those lines.

There is movement that could be part of some plan. Daryl, who has been living with the Saviors for a while, is about to move back to Alexandria. Maggie, expressing her frustration with the trade arrangements the Hilltop has with the various other settlements, demanding that she will only help fix the bridge if the Saviors are the ones putting up the manpower.

Those could be pieces in motion, or they could be nothing. It’s possible also that this thread has been abandoned since Andrew Lincoln is exiting the show, or altered in a way that makes whatever Maggie wants to do less sinister than it appeared in last year’s finale. It would probably not help rating much if they had, for example, two of the chief protagonists of the show be responsible for the death of the main protagonist.

Also Read: ‘The Walking Dead’ Showrunner on the Aftermath of Season 9 Premiere’s Big Death Scene

Maggie’s threat was one of the more intriguing threads that “The Walking Dead” left dangling at the end of season 8, though, so let’s hope they don’t just drop it. Given how relatively low key the season 9 premiere was — Gregory’s well overdue death notwithstanding — there’s no doubt some serious drama on the way soon. We’ll see soon enough.

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Walking Dead’ Leaders Ranked, From Gregory to Maggie to Ezekiel

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‘The Walking Dead’: Could Carol and Ezekiel’s Romance Be Setting Up Carol and Daryl?

‘The Walking Dead’ Showrunner on the Aftermath of Season 9 Premiere’s Big Death Scene

(Spoilers ahead for the season 9 premiere of “The Waking Dead” on AMC)

One of the big moments from the season 8 finale of “The Walking Dead” that you may have forgotten about was the creepy scene with Maggie (Lauren Cohan), Jesus (Tom Payne) and Daryl (Norman Reedus), in which they discussed how the war with the Saviors ended and how extremely unhappy they were with Rick (Andrew Lincoln) for sparing Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan).

Rick could have just let Negan bleed out, but he chose not to. Maggie, whose husband Glen was murdered by Negan, was really mad about it. And she seemed to indicate that she planned to take some kind of action against Rick because of it.

In case you forgot this scene, it went like this:

Maggie: “We have a lot to do. We have to build this place up. Make it work better than before. Make it thrive for the people who live here. We need our strength. The ability to defend ourselves better. We have to have that.”

Jesus: “We will.”

Maggie: “But Rick and Michonne — Rick was wrong to do what he did. Michonne too. So we’re gonna bide our time. Wait for our moment. And then we’re gonna show him.”

Daryl, stepping out of the shadows: “Yeah. We will.”

There’s not much in the season 9 premiere to indicate that they have plans in motion to oust Rick or otherwise “show him.” Or, at least, there wasn’t a scene in the episode in which they said they were doing something along those lines.

There is movement that could be part of some plan. Daryl, who has been living with the Saviors for a while, is about to move back to Alexandria. Maggie, expressing her frustration with the trade arrangements the Hilltop has with the various other settlements, demanding that she will only help fix the bridge if the Saviors are the ones putting up the manpower.

Those could be pieces in motion, or they could be nothing. It’s possible also that this thread has been abandoned since Andrew Lincoln is exiting the show, or altered in a way that makes whatever Maggie wants to do less sinister than it appeared in last year’s finale. It would probably not help rating much if they had, for example, two of the chief protagonists of the show be responsible for the death of the main protagonist.

Maggie’s threat was one of the more intriguing threads that “The Walking Dead” left dangling at the end of season 8, though, so let’s hope they don’t just drop it. Given how relatively low key the season 9 premiere was — Gregory’s well overdue death notwithstanding — there’s no doubt some serious drama on the way soon. We’ll see soon enough.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Walking Dead' Leaders Ranked, From Gregory to Maggie to Ezekiel

'The Walking Dead': Everything We Know About Season 9 So Far

'The Walking Dead': Could Carol and Ezekiel's Romance Be Setting Up Carol and Daryl?

'The Walking Dead' Showrunner on the Aftermath of Season 9 Premiere's Big Death Scene

‘The Walking Dead’s’ Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Norman Reedus on Andrew Lincoln’s Exit: ‘He Is The Leader of This Show’

“The Walking Dead” stars Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Norman Reedus are going to miss Andrew Lincoln. The pair praised the departing star at the Variety Studio at San Diego Comic-Con Saturday. “He’s like a true No. 1 on that call she…

“The Walking Dead” stars Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Norman Reedus are going to miss Andrew Lincoln. The pair praised the departing star at the Variety Studio at San Diego Comic-Con Saturday. “He’s like a true No. 1 on that call sheet,” Morgan said. “He is the leader of this show and everyone kind of follows […]

‘Walking Dead’ Star Jeffrey Dean Morgan Tweets to Fans to Stop Showing Up at His House

It’s cool to be a fan, even a super fan of AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” but Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who plays Negan, wishes people would stop descending on his home like a horde of zombies all the time.

The “Watchmen” and “Supernatural” actor took to Twitter on Tuesday to discourage fans from coming to his house, taking pictures and knock on his door.

“It’s rude and creepy,” Morgan tweeted. He also issued a warning: “And… you’re being recorded.”

Dear people that think it’s a solid plan to come to our house, take pictures, drive up to house, knock on door… it’s not a good plan. It’s rude and creepy. Respect our privacy please. And… you’re being recorded.

– Jeffrey Dean Morgan (@JDMorgan) July 3, 2018

Yeah nerds, sometimes you really do take this stuff a bit too far. We’re guessing Morgan will soon be adding a little more security to keep people from cruising up his driveway and knocking on the door.

Also Read: Yvette Nicole Brown to Replace Chris Hardwick as ‘Walking Dead’ Panel Moderator at Comic-Con

“The Walking Dead” returns for its ninth season in this fall, while its sister AMC show “Fear the Walking Dead” airs Sundays at 9 pm Eastern and will return for the second half of its fourth season August 12. Both shows will be getting big panels later this month at San Diego Comic-Con 2018.

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It’s cool to be a fan, even a super fan of AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” but Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who plays Negan, wishes people would stop descending on his home like a horde of zombies all the time.

The “Watchmen” and “Supernatural” actor took to Twitter on Tuesday to discourage fans from coming to his house, taking pictures and knock on his door.

“It’s rude and creepy,” Morgan tweeted. He also issued a warning: “And… you’re being recorded.”

Yeah nerds, sometimes you really do take this stuff a bit too far. We’re guessing Morgan will soon be adding a little more security to keep people from cruising up his driveway and knocking on the door.

“The Walking Dead” returns for its ninth season in this fall, while its sister AMC show “Fear the Walking Dead” airs Sundays at 9 pm Eastern and will return for the second half of its fourth season August 12. Both shows will be getting big panels later this month at San Diego Comic-Con 2018.

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‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Elizabeth Moss, Sarah Paulson and 9 More Stars You Forgot Appeared on the Show (Photos)

With news that Geena Davis will reprise her role on “Grey’s Anatomy” before the season’s over, TheWrap takes a look back at other stars with roles on the longstanding medical drama.
Kyle Chandler
Honestly, who could forget Coach…

With news that Geena Davis will reprise her role on “Grey’s Anatomy” before the season’s over, TheWrap takes a look back at other stars with roles on the longstanding medical drama.

Kyle Chandler

Honestly, who could forget Coach Taylor’s appearance on “Grey’s Anatomy” as bomb squad leader Dylan Young? Chandler appeared in Seasons 2 and 3 — he guested on “Grey’s” the same year that “Friday Night Lights” debuted on NBC.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan

Long before he was wielding a bat in the apocalypse, Jeffrey Dean Morgan played one of “Grey’s Anatomy”‘s most tragic and beloved figures. Denny Duquette was the love interest to Izzy Stevens (Katherine Heigl) in Season 2, and their relationship inspired the interns to perform a questionable procedure on Denny’s heart.

Scott Foley

Shondaland fans will recognize this face from another ABC drama. But before he played the sexy Jake Ballard on “Scandal,” Foley played Henry Burton, a dying patient without insurance who Teddy (Kim Raver) ends up marrying so he could have surgery.

Sarah Paulson

The “American Crime Story” star plays Meredith’s mother Dr. Ellis Grey in a flashback episode in Season 6, “The Time Warp.” The episode reveals more about Ellis’ relationship with Dr. Richard Webber.

Faye Dunaway

The “Network” star had a guest spot in Season 5 of “Grey’s Anatomy” as Dr. Margaret Campbell, one of the original surgeons at the hospital who comes back to help with a surgery.

Demi Lovato 

The pop star made an appearance on “Grey’s Anatomy” during her “Sonny With A Chance” days as Hayley May in a guest role during Season 6.

Mandy Moore

Now one of the stars of “This Is Us,” Mandy Moore guest-starred in one of the most-talked about episodes in “Grey’s” history. She played a pregnant patient in the active shooter episodes in Season 6.

Elizabeth Moss

The “Mad Men” star had a guest role in Season 3 of “Grey’s” as Nina Rogerson, the daughter of a patient.

Zach Gilford

Kyle Chandler isn’t the only “Friday Night Lights” alum to make an appearance on the ABC medical drama. Zach Gilford popped up in Season 5 as a soldier trying to get in healthy enough condition to return to the field.

Leslie Odom, Jr.

The “Hamilton” star, Grammy winner and Tony nominee made an appearance on the silver screen way back in Season 5. He played P.J. Walling, a participant in a domino surgery.

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‘Walking Dead’ Finale: Rick Failed Carl, and Doesn’t Deserve the Moral High Ground (Commentary)

(Spoilers ahead for the season 8 finale of “The Walking Dead”)

There was a moment there, at the final throwdown between Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Rick (Andrew Lincoln), that I thought Rick had actually killed Negan.

I was hardly alone in thinking that. Rick finally got Negan to let his guard down by talking about Carl (Chandler Riggs), and then he slashed Negan’s throat with a piece of glass. Negan was lying there on the grass bleeding out for like a minute as Rick turned away from him to talk to this people.

Also Read: Did ‘The Walking Dead’ Finale Just Set Up Maggie as the Next Big Villain?

I don’t have any idea how I’m supposed to interpret “Rick takes a piece of glass and cuts Negan’s throat with it” as anything other than a murder attempt. That a minute later he had somebody patch him up doesn’t change that.

And, like, that’s fine. If the folks behind “The Walking Dead” wanna conclude this story by having Rick murder Negan or try and fail to murder Negan then that’s up to them — it may not be overly satisfying from a narrative perspective after 8 episodes of people crying about Carl the Pacifist, but it would probably be a sincere thing. But that’s not what happened. The show, judging by the incredibly self-righteous speech Rick immediately turns around and gives indicates that how I interpreted this sequence — as a murder attempt — was not what they were going for. That Rick slashing Negan’s neck with a piece of glass was somehow Rick intentionally making a disabling move rather than a lethal one.

But I don’t buy it for one second. The language of movies and TV says if you cut somebody’s throat like that they’re going to die and you were trying to kill them. The exception would be if the character doing the slashing has demonstrated such skill with a blade that they could intentionally slice somebody’s neck wide open without killing them — a skill Rick has certainly never demonstrated.

Also Read: ‘The Walking Dead’ Finale Pulls a Fast One on Fans: ‘I Just Peed Myself a Little!’

So Rick tries to murder Negan, and then he turns around and recites Carl’s ideology of peace to everybody like he hadn’t just specifically done what Carl asked him not to.

“What happened, what we did, what we lost, there’s gotta be something after. The ones who have ‘em up, put your hands down. We’re all gonna go home now. Negan’s alive. But his way of doing things is over. And anyone who can’t live with that will pay the price, I promise you that. And any person here who would live in peace and fairness, who would find common ground, this world is yours, by right. We are life. That’s death!” Rick said, referring to a crowd of zombies down the hill. “And it’s coming for us. Unless we stand together! So go home. Then the work begins. The new world begins. All this… all this is just what was. There’s gotta be something after.”

There’s no remorse from Rick there that he almost screwed the whole thing up by murdering Negan 30 seconds earlier. Rick doesn’t acknowledge that he didn’t spare Negan — he just got lucky that he didn’t open up his throat so badly that their primitive medical knowledge wouldn’t be able to save him. After a season of bloodlust in which Rick continually demonstrated an unwillingness to even try to make peace with Negan — remember, it was Michonne (Danai Gurira) who pitched Negan on peace by reading Carl’s letter to him last week — he still didn’t until after the war was over, after Negan lay on the ground bleeding to death because Rick tried to murder him in the moment of truth, actually try to embrace Carl’s rhetoric.

Also Read: Did ‘The Walking Dead’ Just Hint at Future Villains the Whisperers?

That’s not earned. Rick was a moral failure this whole season, right to the very end. And when that end came, Rick got back up on his high horse and tried to pretend otherwise with yet another of his sanctimonious speeches. Rick didn’t earn it this time, though, and it drives me absolutely crazy that the show would try to claim otherwise.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Did ‘The Walking Dead’ Just Hint at Future Villains, the Whisperers?

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Did ‘The Walking Dead’ Finale Just Set Up Maggie as the Next Big Villain?

‘The Walking Dead’ Finale Pulls a Fast One on Fans: ‘I Just Peed Myself a Little!’

(Spoilers ahead for the season 8 finale of “The Walking Dead”)

There was a moment there, at the final throwdown between Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Rick (Andrew Lincoln), that I thought Rick had actually killed Negan.

I was hardly alone in thinking that. Rick finally got Negan to let his guard down by talking about Carl (Chandler Riggs), and then he slashed Negan’s throat with a piece of glass. Negan was lying there on the grass bleeding out for like a minute as Rick turned away from him to talk to this people.

I don’t have any idea how I’m supposed to interpret “Rick takes a piece of glass and cuts Negan’s throat with it” as anything other than a murder attempt. That a minute later he had somebody patch him up doesn’t change that.

And, like, that’s fine. If the folks behind “The Walking Dead” wanna conclude this story by having Rick murder Negan or try and fail to murder Negan then that’s up to them — it may not be overly satisfying from a narrative perspective after 8 episodes of people crying about Carl the Pacifist, but it would probably be a sincere thing. But that’s not what happened. The show, judging by the incredibly self-righteous speech Rick immediately turns around and gives indicates that how I interpreted this sequence — as a murder attempt — was not what they were going for. That Rick slashing Negan’s neck with a piece of glass was somehow Rick intentionally making a disabling move rather than a lethal one.

But I don’t buy it for one second. The language of movies and TV says if you cut somebody’s throat like that they’re going to die and you were trying to kill them. The exception would be if the character doing the slashing has demonstrated such skill with a blade that they could intentionally slice somebody’s neck wide open without killing them — a skill Rick has certainly never demonstrated.

So Rick tries to murder Negan, and then he turns around and recites Carl’s ideology of peace to everybody like he hadn’t just specifically done what Carl asked him not to.

“What happened, what we did, what we lost, there’s gotta be something after. The ones who have ‘em up, put your hands down. We’re all gonna go home now. Negan’s alive. But his way of doing things is over. And anyone who can’t live with that will pay the price, I promise you that. And any person here who would live in peace and fairness, who would find common ground, this world is yours, by right. We are life. That’s death!” Rick said, referring to a crowd of zombies down the hill. “And it’s coming for us. Unless we stand together! So go home. Then the work begins. The new world begins. All this… all this is just what was. There’s gotta be something after.”

There’s no remorse from Rick there that he almost screwed the whole thing up by murdering Negan 30 seconds earlier. Rick doesn’t acknowledge that he didn’t spare Negan — he just got lucky that he didn’t open up his throat so badly that their primitive medical knowledge wouldn’t be able to save him. After a season of bloodlust in which Rick continually demonstrated an unwillingness to even try to make peace with Negan — remember, it was Michonne (Danai Gurira) who pitched Negan on peace by reading Carl’s letter to him last week — he still didn’t until after the war was over, after Negan lay on the ground bleeding to death because Rick tried to murder him in the moment of truth, actually try to embrace Carl’s rhetoric.

That’s not earned. Rick was a moral failure this whole season, right to the very end. And when that end came, Rick got back up on his high horse and tried to pretend otherwise with yet another of his sanctimonious speeches. Rick didn’t earn it this time, though, and it drives me absolutely crazy that the show would try to claim otherwise.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Did 'The Walking Dead' Just Hint at Future Villains, the Whisperers?

'The Walking Dead' Finale: What Exactly Was Negan's Plan to Trap Rick?

Did 'The Walking Dead' Finale Just Set Up Maggie as the Next Big Villain?

'The Walking Dead' Finale Pulls a Fast One on Fans: 'I Just Peed Myself a Little!'

Did ‘The Walking Dead’ Just Hint at Future Villains, the Whisperers?

(Note: This post contains spoilers for the Season 8 finale of “The Walking Dead.”)

“The Walking Dead” finally produced the showdown fans have been waiting for between Rick and Negan, bringing an end to the “All-Out War” story.

The final battle between Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) saw Rick finally coming out victorious and deposing the Saviors. Though Rick and Negan didn’t wind up killing each other, it does mean that, going into Season 9, there’s no clear villain for Rick and his crew to fight against.

Also Read: ‘The Walking Dead’ Finale: What Exactly Was Negan’s Plan to Trap Rick?

The finale did hint at potential conflict brewing between Rick and his people — specifically, Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Maggie (Lauren Cohan). But it might also have suggested a new group of baddies that appeared in the comics, and up to now, haven’t shown up in the show at all.

That faction of bad guys is known as the Whisperers. They’re unique among the villainous factions in “The Walking Dead” comics. Rather than living in walled colonies or outposts like Alexandria or the Sanctuary, the Whisperers have adapted to life among the walkers. They disguise themselves as the dead and live among the herd, using them as an army and as protection. They’re called “the Whisperers” because they never speak louder than a whisper so as to stay hidden among the zombies.

The Season 8 finale might have suggested that the Whisperers are near. Before the final battle with Negan, Rick and his crew of fighters spotted a massive herd of walkers — bigger than anything they’d ever seen before. Rick remarked that things were changing in their world. He’d be right if that herd was actually the home to a brutal group of new enemies, hidden among the dead.

Also Read: ‘The Walking Dead’ Finale: What Exactly Was Negan’s Plan to Trap Rick?

There’s another potential hint about the Whisperers hidden in the episode, as well. As Rick and his team head to the battle, they pass a series of fence posts stuck into the ground. While these might just be the remnant of an old fence, they may also be a marker placed by the Whisperers. In the comics, the Whisperers use posts and pikes to mark their territory against intruders. It’s possible Rick just stumbled onto their border.

The Whisperers wear the skins and faces of the dead in order to blend in, and they’re pretty brutal in general. When they encounter the Alexandrians in the comics, the Whisperers cut off a few people’s heads, planting them on pikes in order to warn Rick and his people to stay out of their territory. Eventually, there’s a huge war between Rick and his people and the Whisperers.

It had seemed like the TV version of “The Walking Dead” meant to skip the Whisperers entirely, though. For one thing, a big part of the Whisperers story in the comics is Carl (Chandler Riggs), who isn’t dead in the comics but is on the TV show. In the comics, Carl strikes up a relationship with Lydia, the daughter of Whisperers leader Alpha. Without Carl, the Whisperers story would have to change significantly.

Also Read: ‘The Walking Dead’ Finale Pulls a Fast One on Fans: ‘I Just Peed Myself a Little!’

There’s also that helicopter that kept showing up in Season 8, and Georgie (Jayne Atkinson), who offered to give knowledge to the Hilltop in exchange for music and other amenities. Those elements seem to hint at another faction from the comics: the Commonwealth, a settlement Rick’s people discover only after their war with the Whisperers.

So it’s a bit of a toss-up where the show is headed next, especially with Maggie and Daryl hinting they might try to overthrow Rick — something that’s not in the comics at all. But with Negan still alive (something that does happen in the comics), it’s possible the show is still setting up the Whisperers. Negan has a big role to play in the war, and it forces him and Rick to grudgingly work together. That would make sense for a future arc for the fan-loved, and fan-hated, bad guy of Season 8.

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘The Walking Dead’ Finale: What Exactly Was Negan’s Plan to Trap Rick?

Did ‘The Walking Dead’ Finale Just Set Up Maggie as the Next Big Villain?

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‘Walking Dead’: We Really Need to Talk About Jadis and that Helicopter

‘Walking Dead’: What the Hell Is Up With Georgie and Her Suspiciously Nice New Group?

(Note: This post contains spoilers for the Season 8 finale of “The Walking Dead.”)

“The Walking Dead” finally produced the showdown fans have been waiting for between Rick and Negan, bringing an end to the “All-Out War” story.

The final battle between Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) saw Rick finally coming out victorious and deposing the Saviors. Though Rick and Negan didn’t wind up killing each other, it does mean that, going into Season 9, there’s no clear villain for Rick and his crew to fight against.

The finale did hint at potential conflict brewing between Rick and his people — specifically, Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Maggie (Lauren Cohan). But it might also have suggested a new group of baddies that appeared in the comics, and up to now, haven’t shown up in the show at all.

That faction of bad guys is known as the Whisperers. They’re unique among the villainous factions in “The Walking Dead” comics. Rather than living in walled colonies or outposts like Alexandria or the Sanctuary, the Whisperers have adapted to life among the walkers. They disguise themselves as the dead and live among the herd, using them as an army and as protection. They’re called “the Whisperers” because they never speak louder than a whisper so as to stay hidden among the zombies.

The Season 8 finale might have suggested that the Whisperers are near. Before the final battle with Negan, Rick and his crew of fighters spotted a massive herd of walkers — bigger than anything they’d ever seen before. Rick remarked that things were changing in their world. He’d be right if that herd was actually the home to a brutal group of new enemies, hidden among the dead.

There’s another potential hint about the Whisperers hidden in the episode, as well. As Rick and his team head to the battle, they pass a series of fence posts stuck into the ground. While these might just be the remnant of an old fence, they may also be a marker placed by the Whisperers. In the comics, the Whisperers use posts and pikes to mark their territory against intruders. It’s possible Rick just stumbled onto their border.

The Whisperers wear the skins and faces of the dead in order to blend in, and they’re pretty brutal in general. When they encounter the Alexandrians in the comics, the Whisperers cut off a few people’s heads, planting them on pikes in order to warn Rick and his people to stay out of their territory. Eventually, there’s a huge war between Rick and his people and the Whisperers.

It had seemed like the TV version of “The Walking Dead” meant to skip the Whisperers entirely, though. For one thing, a big part of the Whisperers story in the comics is Carl (Chandler Riggs), who isn’t dead in the comics but is on the TV show. In the comics, Carl strikes up a relationship with Lydia, the daughter of Whisperers leader Alpha. Without Carl, the Whisperers story would have to change significantly.

There’s also that helicopter that kept showing up in Season 8, and Georgie (Jayne Atkinson), who offered to give knowledge to the Hilltop in exchange for music and other amenities. Those elements seem to hint at another faction from the comics: the Commonwealth, a settlement Rick’s people discover only after their war with the Whisperers.

So it’s a bit of a toss-up where the show is headed next, especially with Maggie and Daryl hinting they might try to overthrow Rick — something that’s not in the comics at all. But with Negan still alive (something that does happen in the comics), it’s possible the show is still setting up the Whisperers. Negan has a big role to play in the war, and it forces him and Rick to grudgingly work together. That would make sense for a future arc for the fan-loved, and fan-hated, bad guy of Season 8.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'The Walking Dead' Finale: What Exactly Was Negan's Plan to Trap Rick?

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‘The Walking Dead’ Finale: What Exactly Was Negan’s Plan to Trap Rick?

(Note: This post contains spoilers for the Season 8 finale of “The Walking Dead.”)

The “All-Out War” has come to an end on “The Walking Dead,” with a final showdown between Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Rick (Andrew Lincoln) that had a couple of twists.

Spoiler alert: Rick and his crew survived the battle with the Saviors and ultimately came out victorious. Rick didn’t kill Negan, though — instead, he told Negan he would be a prisoner as a testament to the fact that peace would be the new norm.

Also Read: ‘The Walking Dead’ Finale Pulls a Fast One on Fans: ‘I Just Peed Myself a Little!’

It almost didn’t go Rick’s way, though. If it hadn’t been for the intervention of Eugene (Josh McDermitt) sabotaging Negan’s bullets, Rick and everyone else probably would have died. That’s because Negan executed a genius trap to get Rick just where he wanted him.

What exactly was Negan’s plan, though? At one point, it seemed like Rick had figured it out. So how did he and his crew still fall into Negan’s clutches?

It was a testament to the fact that Negan is a brilliant tactician that Rick fell for his elaborate ruse. First, Negan planted phony intelligence about his plans with Dwight (Austin Amelio) in the season’s penultimate episode. After Negan figured out that Dwight was a double agent working for Rick, he used that connection to give Dwight a fake plan for an attack on the Hilltop. Negan laid out a plan in which he and several groups of Saviors would surround the Hilltop and open fire from sniper positions.

Also Read: ‘Walking Dead’: What the Hell Is Up With Georgie and Her Suspiciously Nice New Group?

That plan, and the map that laid it out, was a trick. But Negan knew that Rick wouldn’t completely trust what Dwight gave him. Negan explained the rest of the plan to Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) on the drive out to the ambush location: He sent Saviors out to a road block, intending for Rick to find and eliminate them.

The Saviors at the road block were the second, especially brilliant part of Negan’s plan. He knew that Rick finding Saviors and taking them out would raise his confidence that he had got the drop on Negan. He didn’t know that Negan was purposely sacrificing those soldiers. And on one of the Saviors at the road block, Rick found another map. That made Rick believe the first map from Dwight was a trap, and the second map was Negan’s true plan.

Negan guessed that Rick wouldn’t trust the original map. But the second map was also a plant: Negan purposely engineered the situation so that Rick would find it, and let his Saviors get killed so that Rick would trust it.

Also Read: ‘Walking Dead’: We Really Need to Talk About Jadis and that Helicopter

Meanwhile, Negan sent a second group to attack the Hilltop while Rick and his crew thought they were about to take down Negan. Luckily for the Hilltop, that attack failed, too — because Negan didn’t anticipate that the Savior prisoners there would band together to fight with the Hilltop. They helped beat the Saviors and save the settlement.

Negan’s plan was sound, but he couldn’t anticipate betrayal.

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‘The Walking Dead’ Finale Pulls a Fast One on Fans: ‘I Just Peed Myself a Little!’

‘The Walking Dead’ Surprises: 26 Times the TV Show Has Strayed From the Comics

(Note: This post contains spoilers for the Season 8 finale of “The Walking Dead.”)

The “All-Out War” has come to an end on “The Walking Dead,” with a final showdown between Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Rick (Andrew Lincoln) that had a couple of twists.

Spoiler alert: Rick and his crew survived the battle with the Saviors and ultimately came out victorious. Rick didn’t kill Negan, though — instead, he told Negan he would be a prisoner as a testament to the fact that peace would be the new norm.

It almost didn’t go Rick’s way, though. If it hadn’t been for the intervention of Eugene (Josh McDermitt) sabotaging Negan’s bullets, Rick and everyone else probably would have died. That’s because Negan executed a genius trap to get Rick just where he wanted him.

What exactly was Negan’s plan, though? At one point, it seemed like Rick had figured it out. So how did he and his crew still fall into Negan’s clutches?

It was a testament to the fact that Negan is a brilliant tactician that Rick fell for his elaborate ruse. First, Negan planted phony intelligence about his plans with Dwight (Austin Amelio) in the season’s penultimate episode. After Negan figured out that Dwight was a double agent working for Rick, he used that connection to give Dwight a fake plan for an attack on the Hilltop. Negan laid out a plan in which he and several groups of Saviors would surround the Hilltop and open fire from sniper positions.

That plan, and the map that laid it out, was a trick. But Negan knew that Rick wouldn’t completely trust what Dwight gave him. Negan explained the rest of the plan to Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) on the drive out to the ambush location: He sent Saviors out to a road block, intending for Rick to find and eliminate them.

The Saviors at the road block were the second, especially brilliant part of Negan’s plan. He knew that Rick finding Saviors and taking them out would raise his confidence that he had got the drop on Negan. He didn’t know that Negan was purposely sacrificing those soldiers. And on one of the Saviors at the road block, Rick found another map. That made Rick believe the first map from Dwight was a trap, and the second map was Negan’s true plan.

Negan guessed that Rick wouldn’t trust the original map. But the second map was also a plant: Negan purposely engineered the situation so that Rick would find it, and let his Saviors get killed so that Rick would trust it.

Meanwhile, Negan sent a second group to attack the Hilltop while Rick and his crew thought they were about to take down Negan. Luckily for the Hilltop, that attack failed, too — because Negan didn’t anticipate that the Savior prisoners there would band together to fight with the Hilltop. They helped beat the Saviors and save the settlement.

Negan’s plan was sound, but he couldn’t anticipate betrayal.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Walking Dead': What the Hell Is Up With Georgie and Her Suspiciously Nice New Group?

7 Questions We Hope Will Be Answered in 'The Walking Dead' Season 8 Finale

'Walking Dead': We Really Need to Talk About Jadis and that Helicopter

'The Walking Dead' Finale Pulls a Fast One on Fans: 'I Just Peed Myself a Little!'

'The Walking Dead' Surprises: 26 Times the TV Show Has Strayed From the Comics

Did ‘The Walking Dead’ Finale Just Set Up Maggie as the Next Big Villain?

(Spoilers ahead for the season 8 finale of “The Walking Dead”)

There’s been a lot of speculation this year about the future of “The Walking Dead.” Season 8 went pretty far off book at points, from Carl’s death to basically everything that happened in the last three episodes.

That new willingness to deviate in much larger ways from the story laid out in the comics than the show has typically done in the past, combined with the dramatic ratings slide “The Walking Dead” has experienced this season, has made a lot of fans wonder if the creative powers that be may be skipping over the next big conflict from the books or even just taking these characters in a completely original direction.

Folks who are guessing the latter got a big point in their favor in the season 8 finale thanks to Maggie’s (Lauren Cohan) dramatic speech near the end of the episode.

Also Read: ‘The Walking Dead’ Finale Pulls a Fast One on Fans: ‘I Just Peed Myself a Little!’

She’s talking to Jesus (Tom Payne) about how, yes, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) was right to have not wanted to murder all of the Saviors, but that he was wrong to spare Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). The whole scene played out in darkness, with ominous music playing. Particularly when she said this:

“Rick was wrong to do what he did. Michonne too. So we’re gonna bide our time, wait for our moment, and then we’re gonna show him,” Maggie said.

And the ominous music got extra ominous when Daryl (Norman Reedus) stepped out of the shadows and uttered, “Yeah. We will.”

Also Read: ‘Walking Dead’: What the Hell Is Up With Georgie and Her Suspiciously Nice New Group?

Now, Maggie and Rick certainly had this same fundamental disagreement about Negan in the comics, but it wasn’t framed like this. This doesn’t sound like she wants to go after Negan the way she did in the book — this sounds like they want to overthrow Rick.

Which would be a pretty significant new thread to take “The Walking Dead” on! Up next in the books after the war with the Saviors is a time jump and then a new war, with a group who worships zombies. After that is an encounter with a city of 50,000 survivors in Ohio called the Commonwealth, which a lot of folks — myself included — have speculated actually did show up this season in the form of Georgie (Jayne Atkinson) and, perhaps, that mysterious helicopter we’ve seen near the Junkyard a couple times.

Maggie and Daryl pulling some kind of coup, though, would be uncharted territory. Which makes me kinda hope it happens. Only about six months until we’ll find out in season 9!

(Spoilers ahead for the season 8 finale of “The Walking Dead”)

There’s been a lot of speculation this year about the future of “The Walking Dead.” Season 8 went pretty far off book at points, from Carl’s death to basically everything that happened in the last three episodes.

That new willingness to deviate in much larger ways from the story laid out in the comics than the show has typically done in the past, combined with the dramatic ratings slide “The Walking Dead” has experienced this season, has made a lot of fans wonder if the creative powers that be may be skipping over the next big conflict from the books or even just taking these characters in a completely original direction.

Folks who are guessing the latter got a big point in their favor in the season 8 finale thanks to Maggie’s (Lauren Cohan) dramatic speech near the end of the episode.

She’s talking to Jesus (Tom Payne) about how, yes, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) was right to have not wanted to murder all of the Saviors, but that he was wrong to spare Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). The whole scene played out in darkness, with ominous music playing. Particularly when she said this:

“Rick was wrong to do what he did. Michonne too. So we’re gonna bide our time, wait for our moment, and then we’re gonna show him,” Maggie said.

And the ominous music got extra ominous when Daryl (Norman Reedus) stepped out of the shadows and uttered, “Yeah. We will.”

Now, Maggie and Rick certainly had this same fundamental disagreement about Negan in the comics, but it wasn’t framed like this. This doesn’t sound like she wants to go after Negan the way she did in the book — this sounds like they want to overthrow Rick.

Which would be a pretty significant new thread to take “The Walking Dead” on! Up next in the books after the war with the Saviors is a time jump and then a new war, with a group who worships zombies. After that is an encounter with a city of 50,000 survivors in Ohio called the Commonwealth, which a lot of folks — myself included — have speculated actually did show up this season in the form of Georgie (Jayne Atkinson) and, perhaps, that mysterious helicopter we’ve seen near the Junkyard a couple times.

Maggie and Daryl pulling some kind of coup, though, would be uncharted territory. Which makes me kinda hope it happens. Only about six months until we’ll find out in season 9!

‘Walking Dead’s’ Rick And Negan Duel To The “Death” In Season Finale

SPOILER ALERT: This story contains spoilers to the Season 8 finale of The Walking Dead.
Rick and Negan went mano à mano in the finale of The Walking Dead‘s eighth season. While the fact that they fought wasn’t a surprise, the outcome was (at least to those who had not devoured the comics). In an interview with Deadline, showrunner Scott Gimple talked about the “closure” of the finale as he prepares to hand over the reins and move into a franchise oversight role. The…

SPOILER ALERT: This story contains spoilers to the Season 8 finale of The Walking Dead. Rick and Negan went mano à mano in the finale of The Walking Dead‘s eighth season. While the fact that they fought wasn’t a surprise, the outcome was (at least to those who had not devoured the comics). In an interview with Deadline, showrunner Scott Gimple talked about the “closure” of the finale as he prepares to hand over the reins and move into a franchise oversight role. The…

‘The Walking Dead’ Finale Pulls a Fast One on Fans: ‘I Just Peed Myself a Little!’

(Note: This post contains spoilers of the Season 8 finale of “The Walking Dead.”)

“The Walking Dead” hit fans hard with its Season 8 finale, bringing the “All-Out War” arc to a close in the most dramatic way possible.

The episode found Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his crew finally coming up against Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and his Saviors in a final showdown, a setup that left plenty of fans anxious. In the penultimate episode of the season, Negan revealed that he’d found that his lieutenant, Dwight (Austin Amelio), was actually a double agent who was aiding Rick. Negan used Dwight to deliver false intelligence to Rick, with the plan of luring him into a trap and wiping him and his people out.

Also Read: Did ‘The Walking Dead’ Finale Just Set Up Maggie as the Next Big Villain?

Of course, things on “The Walking Dead” never quite shake out the way everyone expects. At first, just about everyone was ready for something awful to befall Eugene (Josh McDermitt):

Ugh. Eugene. Go away. #TheWalkingDead

— #StellarideIsRising/#teamjamko (@calhoun_monique) April 16, 2018

Hopefully Eugene bites the dust tonight #TheWalkingDead

— Ah Bee ???? (@itsAbhi_Raval) April 16, 2018

I used to find Eugene’s way with words cute & hilarious. Now it’s super annoying. I hope he’s dead soon. #TheWalkingDead #Wrath #TWD ????‍????????‍????

— Anjali B. ???? (@abenawra) April 16, 2018

Eugene sorry #TheWalkingDead #TalkingDead #deadbuzz pic.twitter.com/F5zh9qf6Ev

— Kendra Sisneros (@KennyLeeSissy) April 16, 2018

There was more freaking out when Negan successfully executed his trap, starting with the whistling.

Also Read: ‘The Walking Dead’ Finale: What Exactly Was Negan’s Plan to Trap Rick?

That whistle is the stuff of nightmares #TWDxFearTWD #TheWalkingDead #TWD #WalkingDead @AMCTalkingDead @TheWalkingDead

— Katie It’sPronouncedBitner (@kathrynbuettner) April 16, 2018

When the whistling start you know SHIT IS ABOUT TO HIT THE FAN!!!@WalkingDead_AMC @TheWalkingDead #TheWalkingDead #TWD #TWDFinale #TWDxFearTWD #TWDFamily

— ¤¤Bulletproof Cora¤¤ (@CD_Jinx) April 16, 2018

I dont think anyone understands how scared I get when I hear Negan’s whistle… #TWDxFearTWD #TheWalkingDead

— ????????‍Ebony????????‍ (@_Yongni_) April 16, 2018

But just when it looked like Negan was about to take out everyone and win the war once and for all, those bullets Eugene made for them backfired. Fans, understandably, flipped, and a few forgave.

OOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! ????‍ @WalkingDead_AMC @TheWalkingDead #TWD #TheWalkingDead

— ????Mike???? (@MjolnirMK86) April 16, 2018

Also Read: ‘Walking Dead’: We Really Need to Talk About Jadis and that Helicopter

Eugene!! #TheWalkingDead pic.twitter.com/R4sWpZd4Kq

— Thrillmonger (@CitizenGrime) April 16, 2018

Finally Eugene!! #TheWalkingDead

— Miguel Morales (@The_Basesquad) April 16, 2018

Eugene wins the war. #TheWalkingDead

— Rod Bias (@TheRodfather95) April 16, 2018

Eugene baby… forget whatever we said about you #TheWalkingDead

— scab (@atunatx) April 16, 2018

Me when the bullets fired back and killed the saviors… ????#TheWalkingDead pic.twitter.com/pMRjEsF0o9

— Taylor (@DarylDixonSwag) April 16, 2018

I just peed myself a little!! Thank you Eugene!!!! #TheWalkingDead

— Stephanie???????? (@ReedusFan2) April 16, 2018

But nothing was quite as hard-hitting as Rick and Negan’s final showdown, and how it played out. “The Walking Dead” pulled a fast one on viewers even as they watched it unfold, and it didn’t sit well with many watching.

Also Read: ‘Walking Dead’: What the Hell Is Up With Georgie and Her Suspiciously Nice New Group?

Maggie my heart is breaking with you ????#TheWalkingDead

— Kelly Floriani (@kellyfloriani) April 16, 2018

Negan might be the only person that can’t die like he’s supposed to #WalkingDead #thewalkingdead

— Brynn (@BeyondandAbove1) April 16, 2018

Tsk tsk Rick, Maggie deserved her revenge. #TheWalkingDead

— Susan Graham (@sloanepete310) April 16, 2018

Wait, what? Why is he saving Negan?!!!! Wth?!!!! #TheWalkingDead

— Lecia – Gaye Taylor (@Leciagaye) April 16, 2018

Maggie is never going to forgive Rick for this shit. Can’t say I blame her. #TheWalkingDead #TWD

— Troublemaker (@tzulu1914) April 16, 2018

Shit. I need a hug after that. Wow. #twd #thewalkingdead

— Mayci???????? (@Bl0nd3Bombshell) April 16, 2018

Things weren’t all hunky-dory, though. Even though Rick won the war, Negan survived, and the survivors chose peace over war. Not everyone on the show was happy with the decisions of Rick and Michonne (Danai Gurira). More conflicts are coming and, this time, they’re from within Rick and his group — with Maggie (Lauren Cohan), Jesus (Tom Payne) and Daryl (Norman Reedus) plotting, in some way, against their leader. Not everyone was into it.

No!!! Don’t make Maggie into the Governor!!! #Wrath #TWDxFearTWD #TheWalkingDead

— Stefany M (@stefany_gleek) April 16, 2018

maggie and daryl the new power…not couple but y’know #TWD #TheWalkingDead

— Destiny (@fightmenegan) April 16, 2018

So, I guess so long to this bromance? #TheWalkingDead pic.twitter.com/3mmC5lfLQU

— Dave The Rave (@moonman9419) April 16, 2018

Leaked footage from @TheWalkingDead season 9! #SurvivalSunday #TheWalkingDead pic.twitter.com/kYE59Bh0eF

— Dakota J. Hill (@BigApe93) April 16, 2018

Raise your hand if you feel personally betrayed by the @WalkingDead_AMC finale #TWDFinale #TheWalkingDead pic.twitter.com/2bH8NhojYM

— Blair S (@oryomai) April 16, 2018

The season wrapped with one last heart-wrencher: a callback to the death of Carl (Chandler Riggs). Rick finally came around to what his son was trying to tell him about peace.

RICK WROTE A RESPONSE LETTER #TheWalkingDead pic.twitter.com/8TKomwGD6R

— Daryl Dixon (@BAMFDarylDixon_) April 16, 2018

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘The Walking Dead’ Surprises: 26 Times the TV Show Has Strayed From the Comics

‘Walking Dead’: We Really Need to Talk About Jadis and that Helicopter

‘The Walking Dead’: Key Events in the Series So Far (Photos)

‘The Walking Dead’ Finale: What Exactly Was Negan’s Plan to Trap Rick?

Did ‘The Walking Dead’ Finale Just Set Up Maggie as the Next Big Villain?

(Note: This post contains spoilers of the Season 8 finale of “The Walking Dead.”)

“The Walking Dead” hit fans hard with its Season 8 finale, bringing the “All-Out War” arc to a close in the most dramatic way possible.

The episode found Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his crew finally coming up against Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and his Saviors in a final showdown, a setup that left plenty of fans anxious. In the penultimate episode of the season, Negan revealed that he’d found that his lieutenant, Dwight (Austin Amelio), was actually a double agent who was aiding Rick. Negan used Dwight to deliver false intelligence to Rick, with the plan of luring him into a trap and wiping him and his people out.

Of course, things on “The Walking Dead” never quite shake out the way everyone expects. At first, just about everyone was ready for something awful to befall Eugene (Josh McDermitt):

There was more freaking out when Negan successfully executed his trap, starting with the whistling.

But just when it looked like Negan was about to take out everyone and win the war once and for all, those bullets Eugene made for them backfired. Fans, understandably, flipped, and a few forgave.

But nothing was quite as hard-hitting as Rick and Negan’s final showdown, and how it played out. “The Walking Dead” pulled a fast one on viewers even as they watched it unfold, and it didn’t sit well with many watching.

Things weren’t all hunky-dory, though. Even though Rick won the war, Negan survived, and the survivors chose peace over war. Not everyone on the show was happy with the decisions of Rick and Michonne (Danai Gurira). More conflicts are coming and, this time, they’re from within Rick and his group — with Maggie (Lauren Cohan), Jesus (Tom Payne) and Daryl (Norman Reedus) plotting, in some way, against their leader. Not everyone was into it.

The season wrapped with one last heart-wrencher: a callback to the death of Carl (Chandler Riggs). Rick finally came around to what his son was trying to tell him about peace.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'The Walking Dead' Surprises: 26 Times the TV Show Has Strayed From the Comics

'Walking Dead': We Really Need to Talk About Jadis and that Helicopter

'The Walking Dead': Key Events in the Series So Far (Photos)

'The Walking Dead' Finale: What Exactly Was Negan's Plan to Trap Rick?

Did 'The Walking Dead' Finale Just Set Up Maggie as the Next Big Villain?

Jeffrey Dean Morgan Says His ‘Rampage’ Performance Might Remind You of Negan

If Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s “Rampage” character reminds you of his big baddie Negan on “The Walking Dead,” well, it’s because he played it that way.

“When I was watching the movie the other night, I saw a couple body movements that look kind of familiar, a little lean here and there,” Morgan said in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly. “I was like, ‘Oh man, there could have been a little slop over there between Negan and Russell.’”

The biggest difference between their characters: Morgan’s “Rampage” character Russell isn’t the bad guy. In fact, Negan is plenty of bad guy for Morgan right now.

Also Read: ‘Fear the Walking Dead’ Cast: ‘You Might Be Surprised Who the Villains Are’ in Season 4 (Video)

“I think now as soon as I walk onto the screen, people are like, ‘Uh, oh, he’s going to be the baddie,’” the 51-year-old actor said. “I don’t know that I would want to be a villain right now in anything other than what I’m doing.”

“I worry that with ‘The Walking Dead,’ people will only know me as Negan because it’s such a pop culture phenomenon of a show and character,” Morgan continued. “People have forgotten about all my other work as soon as I became Negan and they seem genuinely surprised that I don’t carry Lucille around and torture people in real life. So yeah, let me do something different.”

(Don’t worry, Jeff — longtime fans will always remember you as the romantic AF Denny from “Grey’s Anatomy”).

Also Read: ‘Walking Dead’ Boss Teases Next Season: It Will Have a ‘Very Different Vibe’

Morgan called his supporting role in “Rampage” a “dream gig.”

“For me to be able to come in with zero pressure and just have some fun and kind of chew up a little scenery, that’s a great time for me,” he said. “It really is a dream gig, just come in and have fun. That’s what moviemaking should be. I don’t know, I think this might be my deal. I like doing monster movies. I don’t need to win an Oscar. I like having fun.”

“Rampage” is now in theaters, and “The Walking Dead” Season 8 finale is Sunday, April 15 on AMC.

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Fear the Walking Dead’ Cast: ‘You Might Be Surprised Who the Villains Are’ in Season 4 (Video)

‘Walking Dead’ Boss Teases Next Season: It Will Have a ‘Very Different Vibe’

7 Questions We Hope Will Be Answered in ‘The Walking Dead’ Season 8 Finale

‘Fear the Walking Dead’ Season 4 Is ‘Absolutely Something That New Fans Can Jump Right Into’

If Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s “Rampage” character reminds you of his big baddie Negan on “The Walking Dead,” well, it’s because he played it that way.

“When I was watching the movie the other night, I saw a couple body movements that look kind of familiar, a little lean here and there,” Morgan said in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly. “I was like, ‘Oh man, there could have been a little slop over there between Negan and Russell.'”

The biggest difference between their characters: Morgan’s “Rampage” character Russell isn’t the bad guy. In fact, Negan is plenty of bad guy for Morgan right now.

“I think now as soon as I walk onto the screen, people are like, ‘Uh, oh, he’s going to be the baddie,'” the 51-year-old actor said. “I don’t know that I would want to be a villain right now in anything other than what I’m doing.”

“I worry that with ‘The Walking Dead,’ people will only know me as Negan because it’s such a pop culture phenomenon of a show and character,” Morgan continued. “People have forgotten about all my other work as soon as I became Negan and they seem genuinely surprised that I don’t carry Lucille around and torture people in real life. So yeah, let me do something different.”

(Don’t worry, Jeff — longtime fans will always remember you as the romantic AF Denny from “Grey’s Anatomy”).

Morgan called his supporting role in “Rampage” a “dream gig.”

“For me to be able to come in with zero pressure and just have some fun and kind of chew up a little scenery, that’s a great time for me,” he said. “It really is a dream gig, just come in and have fun. That’s what moviemaking should be. I don’t know, I think this might be my deal. I like doing monster movies. I don’t need to win an Oscar. I like having fun.”

“Rampage” is now in theaters, and “The Walking Dead” Season 8 finale is Sunday, April 15 on AMC.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Fear the Walking Dead' Cast: 'You Might Be Surprised Who the Villains Are' in Season 4 (Video)

'Walking Dead' Boss Teases Next Season: It Will Have a 'Very Different Vibe'

7 Questions We Hope Will Be Answered in 'The Walking Dead' Season 8 Finale

'Fear the Walking Dead' Season 4 Is 'Absolutely Something That New Fans Can Jump Right Into'

‘Rampage’ Film Review: Dwayne Johnson’s Monster Movie Collapses Like a Skyscraper

Those who are familiar with the city of Chicago will get to see some of its downtown destroyed in “Rampage,” a bread-and-butter Dwayne Johnson vehicle that is heavy on plot and light on character and reason and thrills. This film is based on an arcade video game that featured large-sized creatures knocking down buildings and running amok, but that basic idea has been swamped here by too many convoluted plot lines and extraneous characters.

“Rampage,” which is directed by Brad Peyton (“San Andreas”) and written by four credited male screenwriters, begins with a flat-out rip-off of the ending of the first “Alien” movie from 1979. A rather impressive single shot in space takes us smoothly into a spaceship in distress, where we see disembodied body parts floating in the cabin area. The remaining female crewmember manages to escape, but she is not long for this world or this movie.

Johnson plays a primatologist named Davis Okoye who used to work in the military before focusing on saving gorillas from poachers. He has a bond with an albino gorilla named George, a frisky primate who has been taught sign language by Okoye (including how to give someone the middle finger).

Watch Video: ‘Rampage’: Dwayne Johnson Is Back to Save the World in New Trailer

Johnson is given a knowing star entrance where we see him from behind and the camera moves in before he turns to speak, and it doesn’t really matter what he says. Everything about Johnson’s performing style is stripped-down, earnest, simple, and somewhat comical, and he has gotten a lot of mileage out of that.

That space opening comes back into play when we find out about an experiment based around a new technology called CRISPR, which was pioneered by a geneticist named Kate Caldwell (Naomie Harris) as a way of helping her dying brother. But CRISPR was diverted and fell into the hands of the villainous Claire Wyden (Malin Akerman), who is looking to make lots of money off of the technology with the help of her bumbling henchman Brett (Jake Lacy).

Also Read: ‘Rampage’ Moves Up One Week to Make Room for ‘Avengers: Infinity War’

Claire and Brett have hired a military outfit to do some dirty work for them, and this outfit is led by Burke (Joe Manganiello). Peyton sets up yet another star entrance from behind for Manganiello as he walks to a helicopter before turning to speak, and this is bewildering because it turns out that Manganiello is barely in this movie.

Yet another character is introduced, Agent Russell (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), who seems to exist just to relay lots of plot exposition and generally grind the movie to a halt. Morgan plays this part in a Christoph-Waltz-in-a-Tarantino-movie fashion, with lots of self-satisfied smiles and an obnoxiously slow delivery of his lines.

There comes a point where we finally get to an oversized George and an oversized flying wolf and an oversized crocodile-dinosaur hybrid wreaking havoc in downtown Chicago, and this is fairly diverting at first. We do get to see what looks like the John Hancock Building slowly fall over to the ground, but this is pretty much the extent of the imaginative destruction here.

Watch Video: Conan O’Brien Tries – And Fails – to Be Dwayne Johnson’s Stunt Double in ‘Rampage’

If you’re going to destroy most of downtown Chicago, why not have one of the creatures kick the Adler Planetarium into the water, or pick up and hurl the Ferris wheel at Navy Pier like a discus? The effects are just competent here, and sometimes less than that. There comes a point when one of the characters falls into George’s mouth, and this descent is no more or less visually convincing than when Alfred Hitchcock had Norman Lloyd fall off of the Statue of Liberty in “Saboteur,” a movie that was made over 70 years ago.

In the middle of the building wreckage, Johnson mainly just stands around and sometimes delivers a one-liner for a would-be laugh. There isn’t anything much at stake here, and when the movie tries to get sentimental about Okoye’s feeling for George, it becomes static and empty.

There’s no romance with Harris’s Kate, and when they mention that possibility toward the very end it doesn’t feel at all organic. “Rampage” is a movie that gets buried in its own top-heavy plot, collapsing itself under that weight just like the Chicago-area buildings do on screen.



Related stories from TheWrap:

Dwayne Johnson Says He Would ‘Have Knelt or Raised My Fist in Solidarity’ in NFL Anthem Protests

Dwayne Johnson Asks Jimmy Kimmel to Be His Doula (Video)

When Naomie Harris Decided it Was OK to Play a Crack Addict (Video)

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Those who are familiar with the city of Chicago will get to see some of its downtown destroyed in “Rampage,” a bread-and-butter Dwayne Johnson vehicle that is heavy on plot and light on character and reason and thrills. This film is based on an arcade video game that featured large-sized creatures knocking down buildings and running amok, but that basic idea has been swamped here by too many convoluted plot lines and extraneous characters.

“Rampage,” which is directed by Brad Peyton (“San Andreas”) and written by four credited male screenwriters, begins with a flat-out rip-off of the ending of the first “Alien” movie from 1979. A rather impressive single shot in space takes us smoothly into a spaceship in distress, where we see disembodied body parts floating in the cabin area. The remaining female crewmember manages to escape, but she is not long for this world or this movie.

Johnson plays a primatologist named Davis Okoye who used to work in the military before focusing on saving gorillas from poachers. He has a bond with an albino gorilla named George, a frisky primate who has been taught sign language by Okoye (including how to give someone the middle finger).

Johnson is given a knowing star entrance where we see him from behind and the camera moves in before he turns to speak, and it doesn’t really matter what he says. Everything about Johnson’s performing style is stripped-down, earnest, simple, and somewhat comical, and he has gotten a lot of mileage out of that.

That space opening comes back into play when we find out about an experiment based around a new technology called CRISPR, which was pioneered by a geneticist named Kate Caldwell (Naomie Harris) as a way of helping her dying brother. But CRISPR was diverted and fell into the hands of the villainous Claire Wyden (Malin Akerman), who is looking to make lots of money off of the technology with the help of her bumbling henchman Brett (Jake Lacy).

Claire and Brett have hired a military outfit to do some dirty work for them, and this outfit is led by Burke (Joe Manganiello). Peyton sets up yet another star entrance from behind for Manganiello as he walks to a helicopter before turning to speak, and this is bewildering because it turns out that Manganiello is barely in this movie.

Yet another character is introduced, Agent Russell (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), who seems to exist just to relay lots of plot exposition and generally grind the movie to a halt. Morgan plays this part in a Christoph-Waltz-in-a-Tarantino-movie fashion, with lots of self-satisfied smiles and an obnoxiously slow delivery of his lines.

There comes a point where we finally get to an oversized George and an oversized flying wolf and an oversized crocodile-dinosaur hybrid wreaking havoc in downtown Chicago, and this is fairly diverting at first. We do get to see what looks like the John Hancock Building slowly fall over to the ground, but this is pretty much the extent of the imaginative destruction here.

If you’re going to destroy most of downtown Chicago, why not have one of the creatures kick the Adler Planetarium into the water, or pick up and hurl the Ferris wheel at Navy Pier like a discus? The effects are just competent here, and sometimes less than that. There comes a point when one of the characters falls into George’s mouth, and this descent is no more or less visually convincing than when Alfred Hitchcock had Norman Lloyd fall off of the Statue of Liberty in “Saboteur,” a movie that was made over 70 years ago.

In the middle of the building wreckage, Johnson mainly just stands around and sometimes delivers a one-liner for a would-be laugh. There isn’t anything much at stake here, and when the movie tries to get sentimental about Okoye’s feeling for George, it becomes static and empty.

There’s no romance with Harris’s Kate, and when they mention that possibility toward the very end it doesn’t feel at all organic. “Rampage” is a movie that gets buried in its own top-heavy plot, collapsing itself under that weight just like the Chicago-area buildings do on screen.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Dwayne Johnson Says He Would 'Have Knelt or Raised My Fist in Solidarity' in NFL Anthem Protests

Dwayne Johnson Asks Jimmy Kimmel to Be His Doula (Video)

When Naomie Harris Decided it Was OK to Play a Crack Addict (Video)

Malin Akerman Opens Up About Turbulent Childhood, Early Career: 'Comedy Was a Mask' at Power Women Breakfast (Video)

‘Rampage’ Star Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia Share Their Trailblazing Plan for Hollywood Dominance (Exclusive)

The couch is as packed as The Rock’s schedule. An empty chair sits nearby, but Dwayne Johnson squeezes in with Dany Garcia and Hiram Garcia, who are not only his partners in Seven Bucks Productions, but also his ex-wife and her brother. So the three of them are close in every way possible.

Speaking exclusively to TheWrap to lay out their projects for the next several years, they hope the hits will be as close together as they themselves are on the couch. New Line’s “Rampage,” premiering this week, is only the beginning. The Rock might not even have time to run for president: “We have a full slate,” he explained.

“We are a young company — we’re less than five years old — but we are blessed in the amount of work we do,” Dany Garcia said. “We want to continue to make content that just gets seen all over the world.”

Also Read: Dwayne Johnson’s Action Comedy ‘Red Notice’ Lands at Universal, Legendary

Johnson and Dany Garcia founded Seven Bucks Productions five years after their 11-year marriage ended in 2007. Despite the domestic split, Garcia remains the wrestler-turned-actor’s manager, and they appointed her brother, Hiram Garcia, as president of the production company last June.

As Johnson has emerged as one of the biggest and most reliable box office draws in the last few years, the company has had a hand in most of his films, including last year’s “Baywatch” and “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.” In total, Seven Bucks has more than 50 films and TV shows in various stages of development.

“With every project, we are looking to push the envelope just a little bit more,” Johnson said. “It doesn’t necessarily have to be bigger, but it has to be different, and if you can make it better, we always want to do that.”

Garcia added: “We want to make them feel something different than they’ve ever felt before. We ask ourselves, can we do it on a different scale?”

One of the things Seven Bucks does best is update dormant intellectual property. “Jumanji,” a reimagining of a 1995 movie that starred Robin Williams, is close to hitting $1 billion in worldwide box office and just became Sony Pictures’ highest-grossing film ever — an outcome none of them expected. With “Rampage,” Seven Bucks hopes to tap into nostalgia for the pixelated carnage of the 1980s arcade game, and add a soulful story.

The film stars Malin Akerman, Naomie Harris and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, as well as a massive gorilla, crocodile and wolf. As the animals level 10 blocks of Chicago, The Rock’s primatologist character, Davis Okoye, tries to connect with the gorilla, his friend. What could have been another soulless CGI monster movie became something else.

“The really big shift was creating the relationship between Davis [Johnson] and the albino Gorilla named George [played by Jason Liles] and finding that heart to anchor the movie so it wasn’t just a typical monster movie,” Hiram Garcia said. “There is one of the creatures that can actually emote to the audience, so that we’re going on a journey with them as they’re going through this.”

“Well said,” Johnson joked. “I’m glad I wrote out your answer earlier.”

Also Read: ‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’ Is Now Dwayne Johnson’s Biggest Domestic Release

Last week’s Los Angeles premiere drew 5,000 people — making it the biggest premiere of The Rock’s career — and the Seven Bucks team delighted in the roars, laughter and cheers. The Seven Bucks trio took the audience reaction as a sign that some stories are best told on the big screen as opposed to SVOD.

“More than ever, it’s harder to get people into theaters because there are so many options, especially with the streaming services and because home technology is so good, and for us as filmmakers we take great pride in making sure that we’re creating content that you need to see in a theater,” Hiram Garcia said.

About their plans to release films SVOD, Dany Garcia said, “We’re not there yet.”

Asked about the fans’ praise for the movie online, the Rock laughed: “All the ones I paid — I paid them all.” 

But Johnson and the Garcias have also learned that not all old IP resonates equally, as the disappointing results for Paramount’s R-rated reboot of “Baywatch” proved last summer (The film, budgeted at $69 million, grossed just $58 million domestically, and had less than stellar reviews).

Also Read: Dwayne Johnson Says He Would ‘Have Knelt or Raised My Fist in Solidarity’ in NFL Anthem Protests

“We went into ‘Baywatch’ with the best of intentions, and there were some challenges with ‘Baywatch’ that we thought we could overcome in terms of the existing baggage, and ultimately, when we delivered it, it didn’t hit the mark,” Johnson said.

“We had all the right elements to make something so special,” he said. “There were a lot of good learning lessons, and you hope not to learn these critical lessons as you’re swimming and as you’re releasing the film — you hope to learn them earlier, but you learn and you grow nonetheless, and it was a fine a– kicking.”

He added, “I would take another crack at ‘Baywatch’ if we could do it again.”

Fortunately, the 45-year-old star has some sure-fire hits in the works. The Seven Bucks slate includes next summer’s “Fast and Furious” spinoff that will center around Johnson’s character, Luke Hobbs, and Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw — a plan Universal has had for years, Johnson said.

“To get to this place now where we have the opportunity to build that out and create a larger footprint for the IP is not only critical for the existence of the overall IP of ‘Fast and the Furious,’ but also it’s a tremendous opportunity for us to for example hire [director] David Leitch and some other surprises that we have in terms of casting and put our own touch on it,” he said.

“This is such a great opportunity to expand that world in a distinct way that has the Seven Bucks imprint on it,” added Hiram Garcia.

See Video: Dwayne Johnson Asks Jimmy Kimmel to Be His Doula

“For us, we just want to continue to push our relationships, push them to international markets, have a bigger footprint, continue to work with domestic and international partners, and do more movies,” Dany Garcia said. “We have a lot to do. We’re busy, but there’s more.”

Seven Bucks has bucked Hollywood convention by not lining up an exclusive deal with any specific studio — it has projects set up at Universal Pictures, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros. and more.

That gives the team more creative freedom — and negotiating power. Almost every major studio bid on rights to the action comedy “Red Notice,” with Universal and Legendary winning out and handing The Rock his career-best $20 million-plus payday, which he joked made him “drastically underpaid.”

“We are blessed enough to have relationships with the heads of companies and studios, so having a first-look deal would actually be limiting,” Dany Garcia said. “Knowing what we’re great at at one studio and what would be better at another studio gives us so much freedom.”

Johnson said that the team had considered a first-look deal when they first got the company off the ground. “We thought, ‘Is there a place that makes sense for us?’” Johnson said. “It evolved into the place we’re in now, which is realizing that, as Dany was saying, it would be a limited scenario for us to have a first-look deal and it’s worked out incredibly well but even so benefiting the studios as well.”

Also Read: Dwayne Johnson Lays the Smack Down in ‘Fighting With My Family’ First Look (Video)

Johnson keeps adding films to his slate. He has already wrapped on Legendary/Universal’s action film “Skyscraper,” due July 13, and MGM/WWE Studios’ comedy “Fighting With My Family” (in which he only has a brief cameo) due Sept. 14 — as well as another season of his HBO series “Ballers.”

Next up is New Line’s superhero movie “Shazam!” (in which Johnson will not star but he is executive producing). Johnson will begin shooting Disney’s “Jungle Cruise” in May alongside Emily Blunt and Jack Whitehall, with Universal’s untitled “Fast and Furious” spinoff tentatively to follow this fall.

Somewhere down the line, Seven Bucks plans to roll out “Big Trouble in Little China,” “Son of Shaolin,” “Doc Savage,” “The Janson Directive,” “Alpha Squad Seven,” an untitled Genghis Khan project, “Black Adam” and “Jumanji 2,” among others.

Johnson and Garcia recently launched their own ad agency, Seven Bucks Creative, with a campaign for the athletic gear maker Under Armour and Johnson’s brand Project Rock, starring The Rock himself. Several other projects are in the pipeline for the creative ad agency as well. And the company has had its digital arm, Seven Bucks Digital Studios, up and running for almost a year, creating original content in partnership with media company Studio71.

Also Read: Conan O’Brien Tries – And Fails – to Be Dwayne Johnson’s Stunt Double in ‘Rampage’ (Video)

Johnson is clearly taking advantage of his moment as one of Hollywood’s last remaining bankable movie stars. And he said he has no regrets about passing on projects that wind up becoming hits — though he declined to name any.

“I had to tell Spielberg… kidding. There was no pass, that would never happen,” he said. “I personally can’t think of anything that we’ve said no to that’s gone away that I have regretted that I didn’t star in. Once it gets made, you have to chalk it up and point to the scoreboard and say, ‘alright, you’re done’ and that goes on to someone else and you wish them well. That’s happened a bunch of times, it’s gone to somebody else and it’s done well. Like ‘Lincoln.’” [Laughs]

“It went to that other guy,” Hiram Garcia added, referring to Oscar-winning actor Daniel-Day Lewis.

And then there’s that other role a lot of people hope The Rock will play. 

“I’m incredibly flattered that there is a good amount of people that would like to see me run for the presidency,” Johnson told TheWrap, responding to widespread speculation that he might transition to elective politics in the future.

“At the same time, there is a tremendous level of respect that I have for politics and also an awareness that what I know is not the business I am in,” he said. “I’ve never played the game of politics. That said, because of the respect and the reverence I have for the American public opinion, I just gotta go to work in terms of learning as much as I can possibly learn.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Launches Creative Ad Agency With Dany Garcia

Dwayne Johnson’s Manager Dany Garcia Shares Duo’s Plans for Global Domination

Dwayne Johnson to Host New Athletic Competition Show on NBC

The couch is as packed as The Rock’s schedule. An empty chair sits nearby, but Dwayne Johnson squeezes in with Dany Garcia and Hiram Garcia, who are not only his partners in Seven Bucks Productions, but also his ex-wife and her brother. So the three of them are close in every way possible.

Speaking exclusively to TheWrap to lay out their projects for the next several years, they hope the hits will be as close together as they themselves are on the couch. New Line’s “Rampage,” premiering this week, is only the beginning. The Rock might not even have time to run for president: “We have a full slate,” he explained.

“We are a young company — we’re less than five years old — but we are blessed in the amount of work we do,” Dany Garcia said. “We want to continue to make content that just gets seen all over the world.”

Johnson and Dany Garcia founded Seven Bucks Productions five years after their 11-year marriage ended in 2007. Despite the domestic split, Garcia remains the wrestler-turned-actor’s manager, and they appointed her brother, Hiram Garcia, as president of the production company last June.

As Johnson has emerged as one of the biggest and most reliable box office draws in the last few years, the company has had a hand in most of his films, including last year’s “Baywatch” and “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.” In total, Seven Bucks has more than 50 films and TV shows in various stages of development.

“With every project, we are looking to push the envelope just a little bit more,” Johnson said. “It doesn’t necessarily have to be bigger, but it has to be different, and if you can make it better, we always want to do that.”

Garcia added: “We want to make them feel something different than they’ve ever felt before. We ask ourselves, can we do it on a different scale?”

One of the things Seven Bucks does best is update dormant intellectual property. “Jumanji,” a reimagining of a 1995 movie that starred Robin Williams, is close to hitting $1 billion in worldwide box office and just became Sony Pictures’ highest-grossing film ever — an outcome none of them expected. With “Rampage,” Seven Bucks hopes to tap into nostalgia for the pixelated carnage of the 1980s arcade game, and add a soulful story.

The film stars Malin Akerman, Naomie Harris and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, as well as a massive gorilla, crocodile and wolf. As the animals level 10 blocks of Chicago, The Rock’s primatologist character, Davis Okoye, tries to connect with the gorilla, his friend. What could have been another soulless CGI monster movie became something else.

“The really big shift was creating the relationship between Davis [Johnson] and the albino Gorilla named George [played by Jason Liles] and finding that heart to anchor the movie so it wasn’t just a typical monster movie,” Hiram Garcia said. “There is one of the creatures that can actually emote to the audience, so that we’re going on a journey with them as they’re going through this.”

“Well said,” Johnson joked. “I’m glad I wrote out your answer earlier.”

Last week’s Los Angeles premiere drew 5,000 people — making it the biggest premiere of The Rock’s career — and the Seven Bucks team delighted in the roars, laughter and cheers. The Seven Bucks trio took the audience reaction as a sign that some stories are best told on the big screen as opposed to SVOD.

“More than ever, it’s harder to get people into theaters because there are so many options, especially with the streaming services and because home technology is so good, and for us as filmmakers we take great pride in making sure that we’re creating content that you need to see in a theater,” Hiram Garcia said.

About their plans to release films SVOD, Dany Garcia said, “We’re not there yet.”

Asked about the fans’ praise for the movie online, the Rock laughed: “All the ones I paid — I paid them all.” 

But Johnson and the Garcias have also learned that not all old IP resonates equally, as the disappointing results for Paramount’s R-rated reboot of “Baywatch” proved last summer (The film, budgeted at $69 million, grossed just $58 million domestically, and had less than stellar reviews).

“We went into ‘Baywatch’ with the best of intentions, and there were some challenges with ‘Baywatch’ that we thought we could overcome in terms of the existing baggage, and ultimately, when we delivered it, it didn’t hit the mark,” Johnson said.

“We had all the right elements to make something so special,” he said. “There were a lot of good learning lessons, and you hope not to learn these critical lessons as you’re swimming and as you’re releasing the film — you hope to learn them earlier, but you learn and you grow nonetheless, and it was a fine a– kicking.”

He added, “I would take another crack at ‘Baywatch’ if we could do it again.”

Fortunately, the 45-year-old star has some sure-fire hits in the works. The Seven Bucks slate includes next summer’s “Fast and Furious” spinoff that will center around Johnson’s character, Luke Hobbs, and Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw — a plan Universal has had for years, Johnson said.

“To get to this place now where we have the opportunity to build that out and create a larger footprint for the IP is not only critical for the existence of the overall IP of ‘Fast and the Furious,’ but also it’s a tremendous opportunity for us to for example hire [director] David Leitch and some other surprises that we have in terms of casting and put our own touch on it,” he said.

“This is such a great opportunity to expand that world in a distinct way that has the Seven Bucks imprint on it,” added Hiram Garcia.

“For us, we just want to continue to push our relationships, push them to international markets, have a bigger footprint, continue to work with domestic and international partners, and do more movies,” Dany Garcia said. “We have a lot to do. We’re busy, but there’s more.”

Seven Bucks has bucked Hollywood convention by not lining up an exclusive deal with any specific studio — it has projects set up at Universal Pictures, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros. and more.

That gives the team more creative freedom — and negotiating power. Almost every major studio bid on rights to the action comedy “Red Notice,” with Universal and Legendary winning out and handing The Rock his career-best $20 million-plus payday, which he joked made him “drastically underpaid.”

“We are blessed enough to have relationships with the heads of companies and studios, so having a first-look deal would actually be limiting,” Dany Garcia said. “Knowing what we’re great at at one studio and what would be better at another studio gives us so much freedom.”

Johnson said that the team had considered a first-look deal when they first got the company off the ground. “We thought, ‘Is there a place that makes sense for us?'” Johnson said. “It evolved into the place we’re in now, which is realizing that, as Dany was saying, it would be a limited scenario for us to have a first-look deal and it’s worked out incredibly well but even so benefiting the studios as well.”

Johnson keeps adding films to his slate. He has already wrapped on Legendary/Universal’s action film “Skyscraper,” due July 13, and MGM/WWE Studios’ comedy “Fighting With My Family” (in which he only has a brief cameo) due Sept. 14 — as well as another season of his HBO series “Ballers.”

Next up is New Line’s superhero movie “Shazam!” (in which Johnson will not star but he is executive producing). Johnson will begin shooting Disney’s “Jungle Cruise” in May alongside Emily Blunt and Jack Whitehall, with Universal’s untitled “Fast and Furious” spinoff tentatively to follow this fall.

Somewhere down the line, Seven Bucks plans to roll out “Big Trouble in Little China,” “Son of Shaolin,” “Doc Savage,” “The Janson Directive,” “Alpha Squad Seven,” an untitled Genghis Khan project, “Black Adam” and “Jumanji 2,” among others.

Johnson and Garcia recently launched their own ad agency, Seven Bucks Creative, with a campaign for the athletic gear maker Under Armour and Johnson’s brand Project Rock, starring The Rock himself. Several other projects are in the pipeline for the creative ad agency as well. And the company has had its digital arm, Seven Bucks Digital Studios, up and running for almost a year, creating original content in partnership with media company Studio71.

Johnson is clearly taking advantage of his moment as one of Hollywood’s last remaining bankable movie stars. And he said he has no regrets about passing on projects that wind up becoming hits — though he declined to name any.

“I had to tell Spielberg… kidding. There was no pass, that would never happen,” he said. “I personally can’t think of anything that we’ve said no to that’s gone away that I have regretted that I didn’t star in. Once it gets made, you have to chalk it up and point to the scoreboard and say, ‘alright, you’re done’ and that goes on to someone else and you wish them well. That’s happened a bunch of times, it’s gone to somebody else and it’s done well. Like ‘Lincoln.'” [Laughs]

“It went to that other guy,” Hiram Garcia added, referring to Oscar-winning actor Daniel-Day Lewis.

And then there’s that other role a lot of people hope The Rock will play. 

“I’m incredibly flattered that there is a good amount of people that would like to see me run for the presidency,” Johnson told TheWrap, responding to widespread speculation that he might transition to elective politics in the future.

“At the same time, there is a tremendous level of respect that I have for politics and also an awareness that what I know is not the business I am in,” he said. “I’ve never played the game of politics. That said, because of the respect and the reverence I have for the American public opinion, I just gotta go to work in terms of learning as much as I can possibly learn.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Launches Creative Ad Agency With Dany Garcia

Dwayne Johnson's Manager Dany Garcia Shares Duo's Plans for Global Domination

Dwayne Johnson to Host New Athletic Competition Show on NBC

7 Questions We Hope Will Be Answered in ‘The Walking Dead’ Season 8 Finale

Here we are, at the end of another season of “The Walking Dead,” and we’ve got more unknowns up in the air since, well, maybe ever in this series’ history. And it’s not hard to see why, if you’re the sort of person who compares the show to the comic books on which they’re based — “The Walking Dead” is in uncharted territory all the way around right now, an unprecedented situation and one that’s caught us off guard considering the show isn’t really close to catching up to the books.

Given the cavalcade of unknowns that we face as we head into another season finale on Sunday, we thought we should organize our thoughts a bit and make a list of the things we hope get dealt with this weekend. This is not a list of demands — we certainly don’t expect all of these things to be explored in the single episode we have left this year. But we can dream. Anyway, here’s what we’ve got.

Can Carl’s peace actually happen?

The April 8 episode of “The Walking Dead” has a pair of scenes bookending it that are likely very important to the future. It starts with Rick (Andrew Lincoln) reading the letter his son Carl (Chandler Riggs) wrote him before dying, in which Carl implores Rick to find a way to seek peace with Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). Carl was of the mindset before he died that eventually, the war would end, and it was imperative to the future that Rick and the others find a way to move forward; otherwise, the result would be perpetual conflict, a horrible life in an already horrible world. Rick has been resistant to the idea, even murdering the escaped Savior prisoners last week after lying that he would bring them back to the Hilltop. But the scene with Carl’s letter suggests he might be coming around. Meanwhile, the episode ends with Negan receiving Carl’s letter by way of Michonne (Danai Gurira) — and hardening against Carl’s pleas, instead planning to kill everyone on Rick’s side.

Also Read: How Will ‘The Walking Dead’ Manage to Actually End the War Next Week?

The influence of Carl’s ideas and death on Season 8 have been slowly building, but Negan’s answer after finding out Simon (Steven Ogg) and Dwight (Austin Amelio) betrayed him suggests peace might be impossible for now. We saw Carl’s vision of a possible future earlier in the season, it seemed like Carl’s ideas might have been the legitimate way for the “All-Out War” story to resolve itself (as well as for Negan to survive it). We’ll need to know if the loss of Carl really is enough to change the people he left behind, and what his death will amount to for the show going forward beyond Season 8. Right now, it seems like the conflict with Negan might persist, despite Carl’s best efforts.

Is Eugene planning something?

Eugene (Josh McDermitt) may be very key to that peace being possible. While it feels right now that another bloody battle is inevitable, which would make it pretty dang hard to convince the survivors to get along afterward, Eugene is a wild card. He’s in charge of making the bullets the Saviors need to make their last push, and it could very well be that he will prevent the final battle from even happening by giving them a bunch of defective bullets. Could Eugene actually be the true Savior of season 8?

What do Morgan’s hallucinations mean?

Morgan (Lennie James) has battled mental illness for several seasons now, often seeing things that weren’t there. He achieved some measure of peace in dealing with his visions, thanks to training in Aikido with Eastman, a man he met in the post-apocalypse. But since Morgan has fallen back into killing people and dealing with the tragedies of “The Walking Dead,” he’s started to see things again — specifically, as relates to the death of Benjamin, the young man from the Kingdom Morgan taught to fight with a stick like he does.

Also Read: ‘Walking Dead’ Lost Another Major Character: Here’s Why He Went Out ‘On His Own Terms’

The visions have been tormenting Morgan by telling him he was “supposed to” do something and “you know what it is,” but we only have tidbits of information about what’s haunting him. We know the death of Morgan’s son was compounded by the loss of Benjamin, and that he took it hard when Benjamin younger brother Henry killed the Savior lieutenant Gavin for revenge. There seems to be some additional piece of the puzzle waiting to be revealed to teach us something more about Morgan’s mindset and psyche. We know he’s going on to “Fear the Walking Dead” at the end of this season, so it’s probable his current arc will be concluded before that happens.

What will Oceanside joining the war mean?

Time spent with Aaron (Ross Marquand) near Oceanside in this week’s episode, in which he again tries to convince the community to join the war against the Saviors, suggests eventually the group will get involved in some way. Rick and the people in the Hilltop have few potential allies left, though, and with Negan attempting to draw them into a trap, the Saviors could easily have the upper hand before long.

So Oceanside is going to matter in the upcoming conflict, but its people have a pretty negative history with both the Saviors and Rick’s people. Much of the current war is about the inability to forgive and the way seeking revenge continues to escalate until it becomes all-consuming. When Oceanside shows up, given what we’ve seen of Season 8’s themes so far, it’s going to be interesting to see how the community fits into the story, and how the choices its people make relate to the conflict between Rick and Negan.

Also Read: ‘Walking Dead’: What the Hell Is Up With Georgie and Her Suspiciously Nice New Group?

What’s Georgie’s deal, and where is she from?

This is pretty tangential to the war, so I don’t necessarily expect it to be dealt with this year. But “The Walking Dead” has been known to sometimes end seasons with a cliffhanger, and I would expect at least some kind of tease as to what the future of the series looks like. But whether that tease will include any hints about Georgie (Jayne Atkinson) is anyone’s guess.

What’s going on with Jadis and that helicopter?

Likewise, Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh) and the helicopter are a bit of a tangential thread given the main story stuff that absolutely must be dealt with next week. But at the same time it’s clear that that helicopter is going to be extremely important at some point, and could very well be a part of a forward-looking tease at the end of the season. Though I would not be particularly surprised with the last scene was the helicopter landing outside the hilltop, and then a cut to black before we find anything out about it.

Also Read: ‘Walking Dead’: We Really Need to Talk About Jadis and that Helicopter

Will “The Walking Dead” skip the Whisperer War?

There’s been a lot of speculation over the past few months about whether the show will skip over the next big storyline from the comics, in which a bunch of creepy folks who worship zombies wage a war against our heroes. Given the show’s ratings slide the last couple seasons, it’s been a common thought that AMC might want to change things up instead of bogging down Rick and co. in another depressing war that lasts for multiple seasons.

This season has given us some evidence that they’re going to do exactly that. There’s the helicopter that’s shown up a couple times, and also a mysterious woman named Georgie who looks an awful lot like a certain major comics character who doesn’t show up until after the Whisperer War. So what’s the deal? Will the season 8 finale give us any clues about what’s next?

Related stories from TheWrap:

How Will ‘The Walking Dead’ Manage to Actually End the War Next Week?

‘Walking Dead’: We Really Need to Talk About Jadis and that Helicopter

‘Fear the Walking Dead’ Season 4 Is ‘Absolutely Something That New Fans Can Jump Right Into’

Here we are, at the end of another season of “The Walking Dead,” and we’ve got more unknowns up in the air since, well, maybe ever in this series’ history. And it’s not hard to see why, if you’re the sort of person who compares the show to the comic books on which they’re based — “The Walking Dead” is in uncharted territory all the way around right now, an unprecedented situation and one that’s caught us off guard considering the show isn’t really close to catching up to the books.

Given the cavalcade of unknowns that we face as we head into another season finale on Sunday, we thought we should organize our thoughts a bit and make a list of the things we hope get dealt with this weekend. This is not a list of demands — we certainly don’t expect all of these things to be explored in the single episode we have left this year. But we can dream. Anyway, here’s what we’ve got.

Can Carl’s peace actually happen?

The April 8 episode of “The Walking Dead” has a pair of scenes bookending it that are likely very important to the future. It starts with Rick (Andrew Lincoln) reading the letter his son Carl (Chandler Riggs) wrote him before dying, in which Carl implores Rick to find a way to seek peace with Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). Carl was of the mindset before he died that eventually, the war would end, and it was imperative to the future that Rick and the others find a way to move forward; otherwise, the result would be perpetual conflict, a horrible life in an already horrible world. Rick has been resistant to the idea, even murdering the escaped Savior prisoners last week after lying that he would bring them back to the Hilltop. But the scene with Carl’s letter suggests he might be coming around. Meanwhile, the episode ends with Negan receiving Carl’s letter by way of Michonne (Danai Gurira) — and hardening against Carl’s pleas, instead planning to kill everyone on Rick’s side.

The influence of Carl’s ideas and death on Season 8 have been slowly building, but Negan’s answer after finding out Simon (Steven Ogg) and Dwight (Austin Amelio) betrayed him suggests peace might be impossible for now. We saw Carl’s vision of a possible future earlier in the season, it seemed like Carl’s ideas might have been the legitimate way for the “All-Out War” story to resolve itself (as well as for Negan to survive it). We’ll need to know if the loss of Carl really is enough to change the people he left behind, and what his death will amount to for the show going forward beyond Season 8. Right now, it seems like the conflict with Negan might persist, despite Carl’s best efforts.

Is Eugene planning something?

Eugene (Josh McDermitt) may be very key to that peace being possible. While it feels right now that another bloody battle is inevitable, which would make it pretty dang hard to convince the survivors to get along afterward, Eugene is a wild card. He’s in charge of making the bullets the Saviors need to make their last push, and it could very well be that he will prevent the final battle from even happening by giving them a bunch of defective bullets. Could Eugene actually be the true Savior of season 8?

What do Morgan’s hallucinations mean?

Morgan (Lennie James) has battled mental illness for several seasons now, often seeing things that weren’t there. He achieved some measure of peace in dealing with his visions, thanks to training in Aikido with Eastman, a man he met in the post-apocalypse. But since Morgan has fallen back into killing people and dealing with the tragedies of “The Walking Dead,” he’s started to see things again — specifically, as relates to the death of Benjamin, the young man from the Kingdom Morgan taught to fight with a stick like he does.

The visions have been tormenting Morgan by telling him he was “supposed to” do something and “you know what it is,” but we only have tidbits of information about what’s haunting him. We know the death of Morgan’s son was compounded by the loss of Benjamin, and that he took it hard when Benjamin younger brother Henry killed the Savior lieutenant Gavin for revenge. There seems to be some additional piece of the puzzle waiting to be revealed to teach us something more about Morgan’s mindset and psyche. We know he’s going on to “Fear the Walking Dead” at the end of this season, so it’s probable his current arc will be concluded before that happens.

What will Oceanside joining the war mean?

Time spent with Aaron (Ross Marquand) near Oceanside in this week’s episode, in which he again tries to convince the community to join the war against the Saviors, suggests eventually the group will get involved in some way. Rick and the people in the Hilltop have few potential allies left, though, and with Negan attempting to draw them into a trap, the Saviors could easily have the upper hand before long.

So Oceanside is going to matter in the upcoming conflict, but its people have a pretty negative history with both the Saviors and Rick’s people. Much of the current war is about the inability to forgive and the way seeking revenge continues to escalate until it becomes all-consuming. When Oceanside shows up, given what we’ve seen of Season 8’s themes so far, it’s going to be interesting to see how the community fits into the story, and how the choices its people make relate to the conflict between Rick and Negan.

What’s Georgie’s deal, and where is she from?

This is pretty tangential to the war, so I don’t necessarily expect it to be dealt with this year. But “The Walking Dead” has been known to sometimes end seasons with a cliffhanger, and I would expect at least some kind of tease as to what the future of the series looks like. But whether that tease will include any hints about Georgie (Jayne Atkinson) is anyone’s guess.

What’s going on with Jadis and that helicopter?

Likewise, Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh) and the helicopter are a bit of a tangential thread given the main story stuff that absolutely must be dealt with next week. But at the same time it’s clear that that helicopter is going to be extremely important at some point, and could very well be a part of a forward-looking tease at the end of the season. Though I would not be particularly surprised with the last scene was the helicopter landing outside the hilltop, and then a cut to black before we find anything out about it.

Will “The Walking Dead” skip the Whisperer War?

There’s been a lot of speculation over the past few months about whether the show will skip over the next big storyline from the comics, in which a bunch of creepy folks who worship zombies wage a war against our heroes. Given the show’s ratings slide the last couple seasons, it’s been a common thought that AMC might want to change things up instead of bogging down Rick and co. in another depressing war that lasts for multiple seasons.

This season has given us some evidence that they’re going to do exactly that. There’s the helicopter that’s shown up a couple times, and also a mysterious woman named Georgie who looks an awful lot like a certain major comics character who doesn’t show up until after the Whisperer War. So what’s the deal? Will the season 8 finale give us any clues about what’s next?

Related stories from TheWrap:

How Will 'The Walking Dead' Manage to Actually End the War Next Week?

'Walking Dead': We Really Need to Talk About Jadis and that Helicopter

'Fear the Walking Dead' Season 4 Is 'Absolutely Something That New Fans Can Jump Right Into'