Fast-forward a year and a half and that’s where we’ll pick up for the upcoming season of The Walking Dead.
Actor Tom Payne, who plays Jesus on TWD, confirmed on Talking Dead Sunday night that season 9 will jump ahead a year-and-a-half later after last season’s finale.
When the AMC series returns, it will pick up with Alexandrian leader Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and the neighboring communities of Hilltop, the Kingdom, Oceanside, and the Sanctuary forging a new civilization following ousted Savior leader Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan)’s defeat.
“Everyone has to go back to basics. Farmers are really useful, and Hilltop, that was their whole deal. They were growing stuff and tending the farm animals, and so that community is maybe doing better than other communities,” Payne said.
New showrunner for season 9, Angela Kang, previously confirmed a time jump would occur back at the Kick-Ass Women of AMC panel in June.
“We’re playing with time in the season, so we get to jump forward in the story,” Kang previously told The Hollywood Reporter. “We’re working on a season that has a really fresh look and feel,” Kang added. “We come in on some pretty fun stuff. I’m really focusing a lot on the core character relationships in the show that have kind of been long-lasting, as well as all of our wonderful series regulars.”
Kang previously teased that “there’s a fun Western vibe that has emerged.” She told EW in July. “We are going into a period where a lot of the things that we’ve seen in previous seasons have broken down, so they’ve got these horses and carriages that are being drawn around instead of cars, Things are lit with oil lamps. People are using different kinds of weaponry. There’s a real grittiness to it that I think will be fun and fresh for the viewers.”
We already know from the teaser released at Comic-Con International: San Diego that the season picks up after the battle between Negan and the Saviors, and a dramatic shift as Rick tries to build a peaceful world, and it’s already confirmed that season 9 will be the last we see of some of our favorite faces, such as Andrew Lincoln who’s Rick will only appear in six episodes of the season and potentially Maggie as Lauren Cohan begins her new ABC series Whiskey Cavalier.
The Walking Dead returns October 7 on AMC.