Get ready to see an older Rick Grimes when The Walking Dead returns for Season 9 this fall: AMC’s zombie thriller will feature a time jump next season, according to new showrunner Angela Kang.
“We’re playing with time in the season, so we get to jump forward in the story,” Kang said at a “Kick-Ass Women of AMC” panel on Wednesday, according to The Hollywood Reporter. (A time jump would match the story in the original Walking Dead comics, which jumped forward two years after the Rick-versus-Negan “All-Out War” that concluded Season 8.)
“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.” That includes TWD‘s cast of female characters: “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.”
Kang, who takes over showrunning duties from Scott Gimple next season, didn’t address how much we’ll see Maggie in Season 9, with star Lauren Cohan starring in ABC’s midseason dramedy Whiskey Cavalier, or the reported departure of series lead Andrew Lincoln. But we do know we’ll see at least one familiar face next season: Jon Bernthal will return to reprise his role as Rick’s former BFF Shane Walsh.