Details On 'The Walking Dead' Season 9 Time Jump, Plus First Official Image

Season 9 of The Walking Dead is sure to be unlike any other. That was bound to be the case with Andrew Lincoln and Lauren Cohan's departures from the show, leaving a void that will be very tough to fill. On top of that, incoming showrunner Angela Kang has promised one more significant change, and it comes in the form of a time jump. Kang talks to EW about what that means for Rick Grimes' crew, while also debuting the first official image from season 9.

“We’ll explore what happened as man made objects and structures break down. Infrastructure like roads and bridges are changing and crumbling. And we’ll also explore what happens as resources are getting low. There’s a fun Western vibe that has emerged. We are going into a period where a lot of the things that we’ve seen in previous seasons have broken down, so they’ve got these horses and carriages that are being drawn around instead of cars. Things are lit with oil lamps. People are using different kinds of weaponry. There’s a real grittiness to it that I think will be fun and fresh for the viewers.”

The image features star Danai Gurira on horseback leading other members of her party. Something tells me they won't be using too many cars or motorcycles this season. Missing from the image is Andrew Lincoln's Rick Grimes, her longtime companion. Lincoln is only expected to appear in a handful of episodes. The same goes for Cohan who has the new ABC series Whiskey Cavalier.

Rick has a utopian vision that he wants to see fulfilled, the one that his son Carl wished for before his death last season. But as Kang point out, that vision may not hold up for long...

“We’ll see our group together working in unity in a lot of ways, but you’ll also see some changes in the way that they deal with each other. In some ways, you’ll see that the vision has succeeded beyond anybody’s wildest imagination. But you’ll also see the cracks in that.”

It wouldn't be much of a show if everything was peaceful, would it?

There should be a lot more information revealed at The Walking Dead's usual panel in Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con next week. That's when we'll probably get the first trailer and confirmation of an October return on AMC.