The Walking Dead star confirms how far in the future season 9 is set

Note: The following article contains spoilers for The Walking Dead season nine.

It’s no secret that The Walking Dead will feature a time jump — and for real this time. It’s not just a dream!

Ever since new showrunner Angela Kang confirmed earlier this year that season nine will jump ahead following last season’s battle between Rick and Negan, fans have wondered how closely the show will mirror comics creator Robert Kirkman’s own time jump at the end of his All Out War storyline.

Pretty closely, it turns out. Kirkman’s original story jumped ahead two years, and on Sunday’s preseason Talking Dead special, Jesus actor Tom Payne confirmed that the show’s time jump will only be a slightly shorter 18 months.

Like in the comics storyline, the new season will pick up with Rick (Andrew Lincoln) having successfully forged an alliance between Alexandria, the Hilltop and other communities to share their resources.

“Everyone has to go back to basics,” Payne explained. “Farmers are really useful, and Hilltop, that was their whole deal.

“They were growing stuff and tending the farm animals, and so that community is maybe doing better than other communities.”

While everything looks hunky dory from the outset, the teasers have tipped that rivalries and grappling for power among Rick, Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Daryl (Norman Reedus) will upend the alliance before long.

These new episodes will be the last for Andrew Lincoln, so there are already questions about whether Rick will survive the power struggle. For his part, Lincoln has expressed hopes that Rick will survive.

The Walking Dead is set to premiere on October 7 on AMC in the US and shortly afterwards on FOX and NOW TV in the UK.

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