The Walking Dead Season 9 will be premiering in October, and the long-running series is getting a new showrunner and major cast shakeups. Norman Reedus, who plays the fan-favorite Daryl Dixon, is rumored to step into the lead role, with Andrew Lincoln’s Rick Grimes leaving the series in the ninth season.
The finale of The Walking Dead Season 8 teased a brewing feud between Daryl and Rick. Along with Maggie, Daryl was not fond of Rick’s decision to let Negan live and the finale seemingly set up a potential coup.
As for Daryl, the showrunner told TV Line that there is a great story arc for the fan favorite in the upcoming season. The showrunner, Angela Kang, was responding to a question about Daryl’s love life, as the character has failed to get past the friend zone for eight seasons.
Without giving much away, Kang teases a story arc that will satisfy Daryl fans.
“What I will say is that we will be telling a great story with Daryl this season. He has some really meaty material coming up, so Daryl fans will get their fill.”
The upcoming season will explore the destruction of civilization with the survivors having to rely on more medieval technology. The plot will also focus on the relationships between the core characters.
The showrunner has confirmed that the ninth season of TWD will explore the tension building between Daryl, Maggie, and Rick.
Lincoln, who has starred as Grimes since the show’s premiere eight years ago, will reportedly only feature in the first half of the season.
While there is yet to be an official announcement, Kang didn’t deny the reports and discussed Rick’s status at the premiere of the upcoming season, via Comic Book.
“Rick opens up the season in a place where things are relatively good and peaceful for him,” Kang said. “He made that unexpected decision to let Negan live at the end of season eight, and we’ll deal with some of the after-effects of that because it was such a momentous thing. And the trauma of losing his son Carl, even with the passage of time, is something that is still painful for him. We’re going to see him try to turn that pain into something positive for everybody.”
Norman Reedus is reportedly being offered a lucrative deal to play Daryl in a lead role as Lincoln’s Rick is being phased out in the second part of Season 9.
The deal is reportedly worth $20 million, which means the TWD bosses are heavily invested in the 49-year-old actor.