Featuring Michonne on horseback (lean a little closer and you’ll also spy the likes of Siddiq, Enid and Cyndie), below you’ll notice that our group has managed to round up a small posse of carriages since the credits rolled on season 8, and while Kang isn’t about to disclose exactly how long has passed, the showrunner strongly believes that this time jump will add a little tinge of Western action to The Walking Dead.
Such a change of pace was already in the ether thanks to season 9’s incredible key art, which featured a Capitol Building ravaged by the effects of the apocalypse. And Kang believes this desolate landscape will bring a “real grittiness” to the long-running series.
We’ll explore what happened as man-made objects and structures break down. Infrastructure like roads and bridges are changing and crumbling. And we’ll also explore what happens as resources are getting low. There’s a fun Western vibe that has emerged. 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.
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So can we expect to see those disparate communities working together in harmony now that Negan is behind bars? Not quite, as Angela Kang tells EW, there’s still a ways to go before everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet.
We’ll see our group together working in unity in a lot of ways, but you’ll also see some changes in the way that they deal with each other. In some ways, you’ll see that the vision has succeeded beyond anybody’s wildest imagination. But you’ll also see the cracks in that.
Expect The Walking Dead to make a big splash at next week’s San Diego Comic-Con before season 9 premieres in October. And only then will we have a better understanding of Rick’s final chapter, while Maggie Rhee is also expected to bow out of the zombie drama in favor of Whiskey Cavalier.