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'The Walking Dead' showrunner promises 'epic' finale for season 7

Variety

The Paley Center for Media's 34th annual PaleyFest kicked off Friday at the Dolby Theatre with a session devoted to AMC's "The Walking Dead." Exec producer Scott Gimple gave fans a glimpse of what to expect in the final installments of season seven.

"The season finale will be a conclusion that promises an epic story ahead. It's about setting up season eight but also beyond," said Gimple.

Josh McDermitt, who plays the fan-favorite Eugene, talked about his character's decision to align himself with the ultra-villainous Negan, played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan.

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"I don't feel like he's playing a game. I think he's trying to protect himself," McDermitt said. "Eugene is scared and a lot of it comes from Negan so he's out looking for himself. And why not align yourself with the person who gives him the most fear? That's how I see it."

Robert Kirkman, creator of the "Walking Dead" graphic novel that inspired the series, shared his conflicted feelings about the Negan character..

"The most impressive thing is that he's this horrible person doing horrible things to characters you love but he had this spark that's engaging. He's so likable. He's personable," Kirkman said.

Actor Lauren Cohan, who plays Maggie Green, added her contrarian thoughts about Negan.

"I was burning up inside when Robert was talking about how likable and charming Negan is," she said.

The season finale of "The Walking Dead" is set for April 2 at 9 p.m.

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