It’s been a few weeks now since we first learned of Andrew Lincoln’s decision to leave The Walking Dead after season 9 – or, rather, half of it – and still, fans are struggling to wrap their heads around this unexpected bombshell.
His on-screen character, Rick Grimes, will apparently be phased out of AMC’s flagship drama in the coming months, as the series shifts gears and prepares itself for an entirely new era. Lincoln will be sorely missed, of course, as Rick Grimes and The Walking Dead are practically synonymous – so much so, that viewers have already launched a petition asking the actor to stay. Be that as it may, it looks like the next run will truly be a time for change, as showrunner Angela Kang has promised a fresh new look and feel when the hit series shuffles back onto our screens.
But that’s not all. While speaking during the AMC Summit in New York this week, she also confirmed that The Walking Dead will indeed feature a time jump, as has been rumored.
“What’s really fun for me is we’re working on a season that has a really fresh look and feel…We’re playing with time in the story, we’re jumping forward in time,” said Kang.
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Continuing on, the showrunner touched on how important the women in The Walking Dead are, explaining that they’re always on equal footing with the males.
“Our characters they’re women – they go toe to toe with the men. We don’t write damsels in distress. Or sometimes if they are the men are males in distress. The women save the men just as much as the men save the women. It’s really a story about survivors who help each other through the apocalypse. ”
Circling back to that time jump, though, and it’ll be interesting to see how it’s handled. Given that things have kind of stagnated on the series as of late, with ratings falling at an alarming rate, something like this could provide the shot in the arm it needs. Then again, it could also backfire and be viewed as a gimmick.
Either way, it would seem that The Walking Dead is on the verge of a new era, but first comes a series of heartrending farewells for Rick Grimes and Maggie Rhee. And if you’re wanting to catch up on AMC’s zombie epic before October, the Blu-ray of season 8 is expected to hit store shelves in August.