AMC's The Walking Dead prepares for big changes in Season, and alongside the possible departure of Andrew Lincoln as the show's lead there's another hint that a time jump is coming.
As Season 8 of the hit drama wrapped up the "All Out War" arc of Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard's comic series, fans already knew Season 9 was heading into new territory, one without Carl Grimes and with a reduced presence for Maggie Rhee. But a new behind-the-scenes image fuels speculation that a significant amount of time will elapse between the events of the two seasons.
Shared by the show's official Instagram account, a now-deleted photo of a Season 9 crew hat contained a message from new showrunner Angela Kang that read, "Welcome to Season 9. Here's to a great year ahead and 'A New Beginning' - Angela Kang." For those who don't know, "All Out War" is followed in the comics by an arc titled "A New Beginning," which picks up two years after the war.
"A New Beginning" introduces a new group of survivors and tackles a huge herd of walkers heading toward the Kingdom community. A huge horde was glimpsed in Season 8, which also introduced Jayne Atkinson's Georgie, who said she would be back at some point. Georgie, along with the tease of the supersized Commonwealth, is expected to return in Season 9 and would fit with a time jump.
Carl Grimes foreshadowed a picturesque future of the communities working together, which may (or may not) have just been a fantasy. The Walking Dead has been known for departing from the source material, frequently swapping out character deaths and even introducing the likes of Daryl Dixon, who's unique to the show.
Considering characters Magna And Yumiko have already been confirmed for Season 9, it looks more and more likely that "A New Beginning" will be the arc that begins Season 9. The comics pick up with a more established world after "All Out War," and, considering that former showrunner Scott Gimple already teased that Season 9 will be a "new show," audiences had already theorized a time jump was in the cards.
The Walking Dead stars Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, Lauren Cohan as Maggie Rhee, Danai Gurira as Michonne, Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier, Lennie James as Morgan Jones, Alanna Masterson as Tara Chambler, Josh McDermitt as Eugene Porter, Christian Serratos as Rosita Espinosa, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan.