The Walking Dead season 9 is now just about a month away from shambling back onto our screens like a zombie that just won’t quit, and so AMC’s starting to ramp up the marketing machine for what’s set to be a hugely notable entry in the long-running hit drama.
A lengthy synopsis for the new run, along with some fresh key art, has been dropped online and recaps the war with the Saviors that closed season 8 and teases what’s to come in season 9. In particular, it specifies that the next batch of episodes will begin with a time jump of 18 months. In this brave new world, our heroes will be struggling to rebuild civilization – and face “a formidable force” that’s coming their way.
“Last season brought the culmination of “All Out War,” which pitted Rick Grimes and his group of survivors against the Saviors and their cunning leader, Negan. With Negan’s life in his hands, Rick had a character-defining choice in front of him. By making the unilateral decision to spare Negan, Rick upheld the values his late son, Carl, championed in order to build for the future, but created conflict within his group.
Now, we see our survivors a year and a half after the end of the war, rebuilding civilization under Rick’s steadfast leadership. It is a time of relative peace among the communities as they work together, looking to the past to forge the future, but the world they knew is rapidly changing as man-made structures continue to degrade, and nature takes over, changing the landscape and creating new challenges for our survivors.
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As time passes, the communities confront unexpected obstacles, danger, and of course, walkers, but nothing quite prepares them for the formidable force they are about to encounter, which threatens the very idea of civilization that our survivors have worked so hard to build.
Based on the comic book series written by Robert Kirkman and published by Image Comics, “The Walking Dead” reigns the number one drama on television among adults 18-49 for the last six seasons. The series is executive produced by chief content officer Scott M. Gimple, showrunner Angela Kang, Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, David Alpert, Greg Nicotero, Tom Luse and Denise Huth.”
As for the aforementioned key art, as you can see above, it features some of our heroes – including Michonne, Daryl and Maggie – standing in front of the crumbling Washington landscape surrounded by walkers. Front and center, however, is Andrew Lincoln’s Rick Grimes.
With his old sheriff’s hat back on his noggin and looking more groomed than he has in years, this poster feels like it’s harkening back to the show’s early seasons. Which is fitting, really, as season 9 will call time on Lincoln’s tenure on The Walking Dead, as the British actor’s expected to leave at some point during the first half.
We don’t know what’s going to happen to him yet, of course, but it could just be that “formidable force” the synopsis speaks of, which we know to be the Whisperers, the creepy walker-skin wearing weirdos who are the latest foes to make the Alexandrians’ lives a misery. Rick didn’t fall to Alpha and her brood in the comics, but the show’s carving out its own path here, so anything’s possible. Who knows, there might even be the slightest chance that Rick could live?
We’ll find out when The Walking Dead returns to AMC for its ninth season on October 7th.