Wow. "The Walking Dead" is really trying to emphasize that it's a brand new show in Season 9.
The new season -- which premieres this Sunday, October 7 on AMC -- is jumping ahead 18 months after the Season 8 finale. That marked the end of All Out War between Alexandria, the Kingdom, and Hilltop vs. Negan and the Saviors.
It's never easy to mark time on TWD, other than following baby Judith. But this time jump -- a year and a half -- is essentially the amount of time it took to tell the first several seasons.
Now "The Walking Dead" walker apocalypse has a brand new look for the characters, the world around the, and behind-the-scenes. Angela Kang is the new showrunner in Season 9, and it's already been spoiled over and over that Andrew Lincoln is leaving as Rick Grimes after this season. Lauren Cohan is also said to be leaving, but it sounds like she might be willing to come back in Season 10.
Angela Kang told The Hollywood Reporter it was outgoing showrunner Scott M. Gimple's idea to come up with a new opening title sequence to mark A New Beginning.
Huge Designs submitted the winning "graphic novel inspired" vision for the new opening credits, which you should watch closely:
"We had fun burying the iconic objects from the show into the titles," Kang told THR. "Some of them, we made very obvious. Others? They're more like Easter eggs for people to go around looking for. That's part of what's fun for me when I watch this type of show: looking for the hidden clues in things. We felt it was a nice microcosm of what some of the fun of the show is for people. There's what's there on the surface, and then there's what you'll find if you dig around in the dark corners."
Here's the new opening:
We know that tree from Rick's climactic fight scene with Negan at the end of Season 8. Nice to see the helicopter again. Plus horses for the Old West feel of the new season. Daryl's bike and arrows. The new Alexandria windmill. What other clues are you picking up?
And here are the first five minutes of Season 9, as already posted by AMC:
"The Walking Dead" returns Sunday, October 7 at 9/8c on AMC.
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