Apart from the obvious, one of the bigger questions raised by The Walking Dead Season 6 finale’s mystery killing lay in how Season 7 filming would keep said identity under wraps, given the rabid on-set spying that already gave away several Season 6 twists. A new comment from executive producer Greg Nicotero might offer a window into that added security, but how fool-proof is it?

Take this with a grain of salt for now, as well the potential for Walking Dead Season 7 spoilers (via observing actors still on set), but we’re several weeks into filming with no significant absence among the cast to suggest an actor released from the show. Sure, there’s Steven Yeun’s participation in Bong Joon-Ho film Okja; a significant raised alarm, given Glenn’s role as Negan’s victim in the books, but an IGN interview with executive producer/effects guru Greg Nicotero caught our eye for potential explanations:

Of the intense amount of interest surrounding who will appear on The Walking Dead’s Season 7 set and how that might reveal who died, Nicotero noted the season’s schedule doesn’t “necessarily mean that we’re shooting in order” of the episodes.

That’s worth examining for a number of reasons, foremost that reports from The Spoiling Dead and on-set documents have suggested the season is shooting in at least some order, with the actor playing Ezekiel reportedly on set for episode three, animatronic tiger included. Secondly, if we took Nicotero at his word that scheduling might obscure a given actor’s reason for appearing on set, would that then imply the character to have scenes beyond their death, whether in flashback, hallucination, or funeral? Most reports have suggested Season 7's premiere will immediately return to the skull-crushing scene we left, leaving very little beyond a broken body to play.

We’ll wave you off this paragraph for fear of more significant spoilers, but among those in the Lucille lineup (and discounting Andrew Lincoln or Chandler Riggs), those reportedly spotted on set have included Norman Reedus, Michael Cudlitz, Josh McDermitt, Danai Gurira, Ross Marquand, Steven Yeun and Sonequa Martin-Green. Said reports aren’t necessarily 100% reliable, though it at least looks as if Daryl fans can breathe a sigh of relief, with Norman Reedus reportedly shooting scenes as a captive of The Saviors.

Production schedules often vary by necessity, but might The Walking Dead have changed up its order moreso than usual, to throw spoiler-hounds off the scent? How might Season 7 incorporate Negan’s victim into additional scenes beyond their imminent death?

Casting announcements will likely arrive within the next few weeks, let alone the first Season 7 trailer at Comic-Con, so stay tuned for all the latest on The Walking Dead.

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