AMC has released a brand new poster, along with an official synopsis, for the upcoming ninth season of The Walking Dead and the focus lies heavily upon Rick Grimes and his role as the leader of a growing new world. The conclusion of 'All Out War' saw Rick consolidate his position as the undisputed head of the allied communities, after the death of his son Carl drove Rick to strive towards creating a better world. With a time-skip confirmed for season 9, viewers will get to see the fruits of his labor, however the most recent trailer teased a civil war between Rick and his former friends, specifically Maggie and Daryl, who resent the decision to keep Negan alive.
As many fans of The Walking Dead will know by now, the story of Rick Grimes is due to come to an end in season 9, as star Andrew Lincoln is confirmed to be leaving the show. With Rick's son Carl killed off last season and Hilltop leader Maggie also due to step away from the series, The Walking Dead will soon find itself forced to deviate wildly from its source material and Rick's position as the leader of Alexandria, as well as the star of the entire show, will need to be filled sooner rather than later.
Until then, AMC has released further promotional materials ahead of The Walking Dead season 9. A new poster puts the outgoing Rick front and center and an official synopsis reads:
Last season brought the culmination of “All Out War,” which pitted Rick Grimes and his group of survivors against the Saviors and their cunning leader, Negan. With Negan’s life in his hands, Rick had a character-defining choice in front of him. By making the unilateral decision to spare Negan, Rick upheld the values his late son, Carl, championed in order to build for the future, but created conflict within his group.
Now, we see our survivors a year and a half after the end of the war, rebuilding civilization under Rick’s steadfast leadership. It is a time of relative peace among the communities as they work together, looking to the past to forge the future, but the world they knew is rapidly changing as man-made structures continue to degrade, and nature takes over, changing the landscape and creating new challenges for our survivors.
As time passes, the communities confront unexpected obstacles, danger, and of course, walkers, but nothing quite prepares them for the formidable force they are about to encounter, which threatens the very idea of civilization that our survivors have worked so hard to build.
Based on the comic book series written by Robert Kirkman and published by Image Comics, “The Walking Dead” reigns the number one drama on television among adults 18-49 for the last six seasons. The series is executive produced by chief content officer Scott M. Gimple, showrunner Angela Kang, Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, David Alpert, Greg Nicotero, Tom Luse and Denise Huth.
There are several notable elements in the new poster, aside from the prominence of Rick that suggests a heavy focus on Lincoln's character in the first half of season 9. A small helicopter can be seen on the left hand side of the poster, teasing further development in the chopper mystery introduced previously and among the zombie horde in the background, there also appear to be a few figures that don't look very dead whatsoever. As hinted at in the synopsis, the Whisperers are certainly on their way.
The synopsis also includes a few interesting and salient points. Firstly, it's now confirmed that the season 9 time-skip will be a year and a half on from last season. This is less than the 2-year+ period jumped in the comic books and considerably less than was hinted at by the 'Old Man Rick' scenes in season 8. The idea of nature taking over the degrading structures of man feels like an intriguing concept and could have the potential to freshen up the visual style of The Walking Dead which has remained relatively consistent over the years.
The Walking Dead season 9 premieres October 7th on AMC.