After the current season of the AMC hit series The Walking Dead teased an aging Rick Grimes, the new showrunner has confirmed a time jump ahead of the ninth season.
Season 9 of The Walking Dead gets a new start with new showrunner Angela Kang. The long-lasting series scored an early renewal earlier this year and has an expected release date in October this year with a mid-season break coming toward the end of 2018.
As quoted by The Hollywood Reporter, Kang said the following about the upcoming season at the “Kick-Ass Women of AMC” panel.
“We’re playing with time in the season, so we get to jump forward in the story.”
THR notes that the time jump is in line with the events of Robert Kirkman’s comic book series in which the storyline jumps two years after the Rick and Negan arc.
During the panel, Kang, who is replacing Scott Gimple next season, revealed that the series will get a facelift. The showrunner disclosed that Season 9 of The Walking Dead will focus on the relationships of the main characters.
As for the female leads, Kang said there is “great material” for Michonne, Maggie, or Carol.
“We’re going to see some really great stories with the women in our show, particularly. And I think for people who are really invested in Michonne, Maggie or Carol, there’s such great material for them. For people who are looking for that specifically, they will see some really incredible work from our women.”
It was reported earlier this year that TWD star Andrew Lincoln, who plays Rick Grimes, will exit the series. However, Lincoln will appear in the upcoming season in an unspecified number of episodes.
Interestingly Kang mentioned Maggie among the female characters who will have great material in the ninth season. However, Lauren Cohan, who plays Maggie will reportedly film only six episodes in Season 9, reports TV Line. Cohan left TWD and signed as the lead in ABC’s Whiskey Cavalier after salary negotiations failed.
Rumors of Jon Bernthal appearing in The Walking Dead Season 9 has been confirmed as he will return as Rick’s former friend Shane Walsh. Since the character was killed off back in Season 2, he will likely return as a flashback or in one of Rick Grimes’ hallucinations.
The duration of the time jump is yet to be confirmed and Kang did not comment on the “Old Man Rick” narrative, which was a dream-like sequence in Season 8. Discussions on Rick Grimes and Maggie’s exit from the series also wasn’t on the cards during the panel.
The finale of Season 8 teased a revolt by Maggie and Daryl due to Rick’s decision to let Negan live.