Beyond the many casting changes to expect in season 9 — Andrew Lincoln and Lauren Cohan’s departures, as well as the return of Jon Bernthal and the elevation of Norman Reedus — we actually haven’t learned much about what to expect from the season 9 storylines. Today the new showrunner, Angela Kang, gave the audience of a Kick-Ass Women of AMC panel a taste of what to expect, namely a time jump.
From Us Magazine:
“What’s really fun for me is that we’re working a season that has a really fresh look and feel. We’re playing with time in the season so we get to jump forward in the story. We come in on some pretty fun stuff. I’m really focusing a lot on the core character relationships in the show that have been long-lasting, as well as surfacing all kinds of all our series regulars.”
What’s interesting about the time jump is that there’s also a time jump after the All-Out War in the comics, which was largely necessitated in the source material by the need to age up Carl Grimes for a leadership role in the comics. Without Carl, fans weren’t as sure if the time jump would arrive, although it makes sense in the context of wanting to skip past the rebuilding stages of Alexandria and The Hilltop. That likely means that when The Walking Dead returns, Maggie, Jesus, and The Hilltop will already be poised to take on Rick and Alexandria in their brewing battle.