"The Walking Dead" is now filming Season 9 with its fourth showrunner, Angela Kang. She's been part of the team as the writer of several past episodes, and she inherited the mess left by Scott Gimple.



During the "Kick-Ass Women of AMC" panel, Kang talked about what's ahead in Season 9. She confirmed a time jump is indeed coming:




"We're playing with time in the season, so we get to jump forward in the story."




That news came via The Hollywood Reporter, which added, "That confirmed that the AMC drama will indeed follow the events of creator Robert Kirkman's comic book series in which the narrative jumped forward two years following the end of the 'All-Out War' arc between Rick and Negan."



The comic book did jump two years ahead right after All Out War, but -- unless they're leaving out specifics from the panel -- she didn't seem to say the season would necessarily start two years later. Maybe it will, though, with Maggie already having her baby and the storyline skipping two years away from that dark Season 8 finale meeting between Maggie, Daryl, and Jesus.



Speaking of Maggie Greene Rhee, though, we know Lauren Cohan will only be in six episodes this season, before she leaves for her new ABC show. Andrew Lincoln is also only supposed to be seen in a handful of episodes before he leaves as main character Rick Grimes.



Kang didn't address any of that, but she did promise a focus on the "core" characters:




"We're working on a season that has a really fresh look and feel. We come in on some pretty fun stuff. I'm really focusing a lot on the core character relationships in the show that have kind of been long-lasting, as well as all of our wonderful series regulars."




Since she was on a "Kick-Ass Women" panel, Kang mentioned some of the kick-ass women of TWD:




"For people who are really invested in Michonne, Maggie or Carol, there's such great material for them. For people who are looking for that specifically, they will see some really incredible work from our women."




(Since Michonne took on a lot of Andrea's role in the comic, do you think Carol will pick up comic book Michonne's journey?)



Somehow, Shane (Jon Bernthal) is also going to return in a Season 9 episode, possibly to mark the end of Rick Grimes' story as Andrew Lincoln exits stage left.



It's going to be a strange season, with a major time jump and the departure of at least two major characters. How many fans will tune in to say goodbye to Maggie and Rick, and (briefly) hello again to Shane?



TWD Season 9 premieres on AMC this October.



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