Rise and shine, it's time to go to war!

"The Walking Dead" Season 8 is now shooting -- maybe literally, if Rick Grimes already has his gun drawn -- down in Georgia, which stands in for the Alexandria/D.C. area of the show. There was some fear that a writers's strike might delay production, but that didn't happen, and now the AMC series appears to be on track for its usual filming schedule of early May to late November/early December, with the Season 8 premiere arriving on screens in October.

Khary Payton, who plays King Ezekiel of the Kingdom, channeled his character's wonderfully grandiose manner in a post celebrating the start of filming:

The Season 8 premiere, also the big 100th episode, is meant to pick up right from the Season 7 finale, with the start of All Out War between Negan, the Saviors, and (maybe?) the Scavengers vs. Alexandria, the Kingdom, Hilltop, and (maybe, eventually?) Oceanside.

TVLine recently revealed that at least two new characters will be joining the already packed cast. Here are the details on that:

"Ahead of Season 8's Saviors/Scavengers-vs.-Alexandria/Hilltop/Kingdom war, AMC's monster smash is casting two new recurring good guys: Dillon, a sexy, blue-collar twentysomething whose survival skills include sarcasm, and Abbud, an innately likable Muslim American whose nerves are, let's say, jangled, because he's flown solo for too long in zombieland. Of the pair, the former is likelier to survive the looming conflict — not only does Dillon sound like a less jerky Spencer, but the casting notice for the roles hints that the actor chosen might get picked up for subsequent seasons."

"Sexy" 20-something = new love interest for someone? Anyway, keep an eye out for more on these two, plus other newbies who may or may not last more than a few episodes. (Remember when they announced Vincent Martella would be joining TWD as Patrick ... and he didn't live past the Season 4 premiere? Good times!)

"The Walking Dead" usually debuts its major trailers at San Diego Comic-Con in July. That's also when we should get the official Season 8 premiere date, beyond just a Sunday in October.

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