The Walking Dead season 9: everything we know so far

Walkers keep on walkin'

The Walking Dead ended in mid-April 2018 and is due to return for season 9 in later in the year. Here’s everything we know so far.

What’s The Walking Dead season 9 release date?

October, probably. 

For the past eight seasons, The Walking Dead has begun in October. We can assume season 9 won’t be any different.

What changes should we expect?

Speaking immediately after season 8 ended, former showrunner Scott Gimple teased the show’s transformation for season 9, calling it a “quantum leap forward”. Some have interpreted this comment as a hint that the show will follow the comics in implementing a two-year time-jump following Negan’s defeat.

“The show will evolve in a huge way [in season 9],” he said. “They’ll be dealing with things we haven’t seen them deal with before and dealing with each other in ways that we haven’t seen before. What [the writers] have planned … it just feels new. It feels like an evolved show. [The past eight seasons] very much lived in the world that Rick began with. It was so informed by the pilot. It just takes this quantum leap forward in the stories we’re telling.” Gimple then added that he knew this sounded like “a time jump tease” but didn’t say whether or not it was.

Now, The Newnan Times-Herald reports a pre-production permit request has been made to erect a 55-foot windmill on the Alexandria site. This further suggests the show could be about to skip ahead in time, to at least a point when the windmill’s construction is nearly done, or totally complete. The structure, as fans will know, is a fixture in the comic series on which the TV programme is based.

Will Maggie and Rick be enemies?

First off, after speculation earlier this year that she may leave the show for good due to a pay dispute, Lauren Cohan – who plays Maggie – confirmed on April 25 that she’ll reprise her key role in season 9 of The Walking Dead. So that’s good news!

“I’m going back,” she told Entertainment Weekly. “There’s a lot more Maggie story to tell.”

At the end of season 8, Maggie vowed to bide her time and show Rick he was wrong to keep Negan alive; Daryl and Jesus seemed to be on her side. Fans were livid that the former friends might turn on one another – but if there’s a time-jump, maybe all of the drama will have been resolved. That’s what Norman Reedus, the actor behind Daryl, seems to have suggested, reassuring fans he is not turning on Rick:

What else is going to happen in season 9?

In the final episode of season 8 Dwight went off in search of his long-lost wife Sherry. It’s likely we’ll see more of his search.

Will we meet The Whisperers?

Fans think so. 

After Negan and The Saviours, the next big bad in the comics upon which The Walking Dead is based is a group called the Whisperers. This creepy lot go by names like Alpha and Beta; they wear walker skin and only talk in whispers, to avoid being attacked by the undead. The heads of their enemies are placed on poles outside their territory. They’ll be an intriguing addition to the canon of Walking Dead TV characters; let’s hope we meet them soon.

How many episodes will there be?

16 – probably.

Since season 3, each season has been formed of 16 episodes, split into two halves.

Is there a trailer?

Not yet, no.

Any new cast members?

Not that we know of – although the actor behind Rick’s daughter Judith may change again.

What about the crew?

Former showrunner Scott Gimple is taking charge of The Walking Dead as an entire franchise, so Angela Kang has become the new showrunner for the series, having written for it since season 2.

Has filming begun?

It begins in May, says TV Line.