'The Walking Dead' Season 8 Trailer Features a Mysterious Flash Forward

Is that Rick as an old man?!

The Walking Dead's explosive Season 8 trailer seems to hint at the biggest twist in the show's history. Released just in time for Comic-Con International on Friday (July 21), AMC's extended teaser will inspire a million fan theories before the zombie apocalypse drama returns in October.

Last season largely depicted the oppressive life of the Alexandrians under Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), but the trailer suggests that that's about to change.

As we see in this action-packed teaser, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) unites King Ezekiel (Khary Payton) and his Kingdom, as well as the Hilltop community, in an armed rebellion to overthrow the Saviours.

Their battle won't be without losses, though. For instance, Father Gabriel ends up in one of Negan's cages surrounded by walkers. But Rick is full of inspiring rallying cries, and Maggie refuses to give up hope.

However, the real surprise is the trailer's post-credits sequence. The trailer appears to flash forward to Rick as an old man, with gray hair and a long white beard. He's lying on a pillow, and could be on his deathbed years from now. Perhaps this mind-blowing time jump teases the show's end-game? Perhaps Rick survives the apocalypse, against all odds.

It's clear that The Walking Dead will be raising the stakes for its eighth season after a ratings slide, and some significant fan complaints about the first half of Negan's arc.

Jesus actor Tom Payne recently hinted: "I always told myself I wouldn't say what I've heard other cast members say every other year, which is, 'Oh the next season is gonna be this! And the new episode is so many superlatives and so many words you use!' And I'm like, 'Come on, you can't say the same things every year'. But then I had to bite my tongue and say, 'Well, actually...' Season 8, the first few episodes are out-of-this-world amazing. We've all been getting them and going, 'Wow, okay, we thought that was amazing!' and then the next episode is amazing."

There is even talk that Negan may be absent for a significant portion of The Walking Dead Season 8. Clearly, some major changes lie ahead.

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Justin Harp

Justin Harp is Digital Spy’s US-based Night News Editor covering all things entertainment on West Coast time.