Warning: This article may contain spoilers for Pretty Little Liars.
The premiere of Season 7 opened up on a scene with the core group of girls digging a grave, and in true Pretty Little Liars style, the occupant of that grave remains a mystery. Instead of moving forward, we’re sent backwards in time to experience the events leading up to that moment of illegal grave digging, but writer and executive producer Charlie Craig, who returns to Pretty Little Liars after four years away from the series, says fans won’t have to wait long to find out who the girls are going to bury.
Pretty Little Liars Executive Producer Charlie Craig Dishes On The Mystery Of The Grave
To start the ball rolling, Craig revealed that the mystery of who really killed Charlotte is still alive, and adds that the unsolved murder will be a big driving force throughout Season 7 of Pretty Little Liars. For fans concerned that they may never learn the truth, the Pretty Little Liars writer promises that the case will be solved by the end of the season, whether the killer is Alison DiLaurentis (Sasha Pieterse) or someone else entirely.
Speaking of mysteries, Charlie says that the question of who will be laid to rest in that grave won’t be something Pretty Little Liars fans will have to wait long to have answered. Instead, Craig says that particular mystery will be solved rather quickly.
“No, we will catch up by the end of the third or fourth episode,” says the Pretty Little Liars showrunner. “And then we’ll be back in real time moving forward.”
Charlie adds that fans shouldn’t necessarily rest easy where the fate of Hanna (Ashley Benson) is concerned. While she may be back with her friends, that doesn’t mean she’s safe and out of A.D.’s reach.
“But despite the fact that Hanna escaped, she got out of the clutches seemingly of A.D. — who knows they still could be digging that grave for her. We don’t know what’s happening between now and then,” says Mr. Craig. “That was our biggest exciting tease of this first part of this first half of Season 7 is who is that hole for, and why are the girls so terrified and frightened, and why isn’t Hanna helping them dig it?”
It’s been said that this will be, by far, the darkest season of Pretty Little Liars yet. The stakes are higher and this new villain, someone now known as A.D., is deadlier than any previous foes that the girls have faced. Hanna knows this through her experience as A.D.’s prisoner, and Charlie says Hanna’s experiences at the hands of A.D. won’t be easily forgotten. She won’t be fine in the next episode. The memories of having been beaten and tortured will stay with her.
“What she went through is going to be a huge engine to motivate some really surprising and scary and really strong and powerful actions that Hanna takes during the first half of our season,” says the Pretty Little Liars executive producer. “That was dark and grim because it needed to be for us to be able to take Hanna where she’s going to go. That’s something to look forward to.”
Do The Pretty Little Liars Showrunners Have A Spin-Off Planned?
While rumors have had fans worrying that Pretty Little Liars will be coming to an abrupt end by the time Season 7 is over, the producers and stars of the Freeform series are feeling far more hopeful with news of either a spin-off series for one or more of the main characters or a feature film in the offing. At the mention of a spin-off, Pretty Little Liars‘ Troian Bellisario seemed as excited as a child on Christmas morning.
“My god, it would be a blast!” said Bellisario of the idea. “We would shoot in Italy and London…She’d be traveling constantly. She’d be time traveling to the past, and it’s an amazing show….I just described, like, Outlander…The Spencer show, it’s a mixture of Girls and Outlander.”
Of course, Pretty Little Liars has already attempted one spin-off. Ravenswood, which starred Tyler Blackburn as Caleb Rivers, was a short-lived drama, and while the show did deliver a more gothic feel and presented some compelling paranormal mysteries, it just didn’t attract the anticipated following. Still, Pretty Little Liars producers may have learned from the experience and could possibly find greater success with a spin-off featuring one or more of the primary female protagonists.
Lucy Hale, of course, would like to see Aria get her own show, but she sees success coming from exploring the past of her Pretty Little Liars character.
“I think there’s so many areas of Aria that haven’t been explored. She went away to Iceland before the show even started, so like, why was she there?” says Lucy Hale. “I love Aria, she’s become a huge part of me, so I keep an open mind.”
Marlene King admits that she’s up for anything, as long as she can keep the Pretty Little Liars universe thriving.
“I’m open to any version of keeping these characters alive in our world.”
The next episode of Pretty Little Liars is set to air on Tuesday, June 28, on Freeform.
[Image by Freeform]