The Walking Dead Season 9 debuts on AMC later this year, and it has now been confirmed that a significant time jump will kick-start the new batch of episodes.
"We're playing with time in the season, so we get to jump forward in the story," new showrunner Angela Kang revealed during a "Kick-Ass Women of AMC" panel, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
That means the series would follow a similar path to the comics in that it took a time jump following the All Out War arc. That arc culminated with Negan being overthrown on The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 16.
"We're working on a season that has a really fresh look and feel," Kang continued.
"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."
Ominously, she did not address the looming departures of leads Andrew Lincoln and Lauren Cohan and did not mention the upcoming return of Jon Bernthal.
Previous reports have stated that Lincoln will depart the zombie drama after nine years in the role of Rick Grimes during the upcoming season.
Some reports have stated he will appear in just six of the episodes. While his departure has yet to be confirmed, the return of Bernthal likely means Shane will pop up in one of Rick's final episodes.
As for Cohan, she landed a lead role in ABC midseason drama Whisky Cavalier, and much of her time will be taken up with that new show.
It was initially unclear whether Cohan would appear in any capacity on Season 9, but it was revealed around the time the show went back into production that she would be back.
No word yet on how many episodes she will appear in, but we'll keep you up to speed.
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Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.