The first trailer The Walking Dead Season 9 and its release date have both been unveiled today at San Diego Comic-Con.
AMC’s zombie horror has become one of the biggest shows of the modern TV era, anchored by the ongoing presence of Andrew Lincoln’s former Sheriff Rick Grimes. Now, after eight seasons, Rick is preparing to hang up his hat and bid farewell to the series, with Norman Reedus’ Daryl expected to step up into the lead male role and new showrunner Angela Kang at the helm.
“This year, [Daryl] has a stronger voice,” Norman told attendees at the show’s Comic-Con panel. “A lot of that has to do with Daryl and Rick’s relationship this year. Angela Kang has always been my favorite writer…[Season 9] feels like a Western.”
“My relationship with Rick Grimes is far from over,” Lincoln commented.
“It’s been such a part of my life. I’ve breathed it for 10 years. I believe in the story so much, but this is a really terrific season for Rick’s story.”
“I’m going to take a break for a while,” he continued. “I do have a real family and it is time for me to go home. But saying that, I have one eye on the script. Norman and Danai secretly send them to me. This is a real terrific season.”
“I’m really, really excited,” he added. “No one is bigger than the story, and the story this year is unbelievable,” he continued.”
That will largely focus around Maggie (Lauren Cohan), who rose to power in Hilltop and still harbours a grudge for Glenn’s brutal death, as she finds herself dealing with Rick’s decision about Negan at the end of last season. With a time-jump on the cards, that also means we’ll get to see Maggie’s baby after a pregnancy that has seemed to last forever.
Kang, who was also at the panel, teased that comic book fans will see “some familiar faces from the comic come to life on screen”. Indeed, we now know that Nadia Hilker will play Magna, a major character from the original comic books. She will be joined by Dan Fogler as Luke, Eleanor Matsuura as Yumiko, and Lauren Ridloff as Connie. You can see all of them in action in the trailer for Season 9.
Alongside the video, AMC also confirmed that The Walking Dead Season 9 will return to US TV on 7th October, which means that you can expect it to air in the UK at 9pm on 8th October, with new episodes arriving weekly within 24 hours of their broadcast. (Watch this space for confirmation about whether it will be simulcast or not.)
Here’s the trailer: