The Walking Dead's off-season has been shrouded with rumors and alleged spoilers for the upcoming Season Nine.
With an abundance of rumors and claims coming out from different outlets and fans, San Diego Comic Con will aim to clear up some of the off-season drama surrounding the popular AMC show. The Friday panel in the San Diego Convention Center may or may not confirm or deny major news surrounding The Walking Dead as fans are looking for answers while AMC and the cast and crew have remained quiet on major topics.
Ahead of San Diego Comic Con, there are a few topics surrounding The Walking Dead's upcoming season which can be addressed.
Late in May, news of Andrew Lincoln leaving The Walking Dead in Season Nine broke online. While all signs point to Lincoln having wrapped production and sources pointing to this being true, AMC nor Lincoln have confirmed the fate of Rick Grimes. AMC declined ComicBook.com's request for comment on the subject.
Lincoln's future with The Walking Dead should be addressed at San Diego Comic Con, as Season Nine could be celebrated as Lincoln's farewell tour, of sorts. On the contrary and more optimistic side, it's possible the network will surprise fans and debunk to now long-running and well-known news.
"Rick opens up the season in a place where things are relatively good and peaceful for him," new The Walking Dead showrunner Angela Kang told THR. "He made that unexpected decision to let Negan live at the end of season eight, and we'll deal with some of the after effects of that because it was such a momentous thing. And the trauma of losing his son Carl, even with the passage of time, is something that is still painful for him. We're going to see him try to turn that pain into something positive for everybody. Rick will face some real challenges along the way. The thing that I hope the audience will respond to is seeing how Rick's underlying goodness and leadership will shine in moments of great adversity."
Maggie actress Lauren Cohan is also expected to exit The Walking Dead, having landed a role on ABC's Whiskey Cavalier and rumored to be appearing in only six episodes of Season Nine. So far, signs point to this being true, though ComicBook.com cannot independently confirm the validity.
As with Lincoln, Cohan's exit from The Walking Dead remains unconfirmed by AMC and Cohan. Whether or not AMC will address the matter at San Diego Comic Con is unknown.
“I’m going back,” Cohan told EW back in April. “There’s a lot more Maggie story to tell. You know we’re not allowed to tell you anything, but it’s good."
After photos put Jon Bernthal near the set of The Walking Dead, it was quickly confirmed he had reprised his role as Shane Walsh for Season Nine.
There has been no official comment from AMC, as the network would likely never comment on a subject which could be perceived as a spoiler. ComicBook.com can confirm, however, that Bernthal returned to the AMC show for one episode making it true, and he wasn't alone.
Whether or not Bernthal's appearance in the AMC show is revealed ahead of its broadcast is unknown but such a reveal could ruin the surprise which was initially reported by TVLine.
Following the news of Jon Bernthal returning to The Walking Dead in Season Nine, a rumor began to spread claiming that the reveal was slated for the AMC show's Comic-Con panel. Sources have told ComicBook.com this is false.
While it's possible because he might be in town with Marvel Television promoting his next season as The Punisher on the Netflix series, Bernthal is not currently a part of AMC's plans for The Walking Dead panel in Hall H.
Cast members in attendance will be Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Danai Gurira, Lauren Cohan, and Melissa McBride.
Like Bernthal, there were reports of Kim Dickens heading to San Diego Comic Con with the cast of Fear the Walking Dead despite exiting the show recently. This is false.
Dickens is not expected to be in attendance at San Diego Comic Con for the Fear the Walking Dead panel.
It would not have been unheard of for Dickens to have attended the panel with her Madison character having perished. Dayton Callies attended San Diego Comic Con with the Fear the Walking Dead cast in 2017 after his Jeremiah Otto character was taken out. This, however, won't be the case for Dickens as the panel will instead focus on the future of the show with Alycia Debnam-Carey, Colman Domingo, Lennie James, Jenna Elfman, Garret Dillahunt, Maggie Grace, and Danary Garcia.
Heading into Season Nine, many fans are expecting to see a time jump as it took place in The Walking Dead comics following the All Out War story. This is true, though the AMC show might not pick up as far into the future as the comic books did with issue #127, right away.
“There’s a fun Western vibe that has emerged,” Kang tells EW. “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.”
At least one time jump in The Walking Dead Season Nine is true.
Rumors have been aplenty on social media and various spoiler websites about the fate of Rick Grimes since the news of Andrew Lincoln's exit came about. A popular rumor claims that Rick will die quickly in Season Nine.
While Lincoln is not filming as many episodes of Season Nine as he has in past years, this rumor is being chalked up as just that.
Fans seeking spoilers may want to be careful what they wish for, though. As Season Nine approaches, some rumors are hitting the mark while others are very far off. The details of Season Nine's plot will be more thoroughly revealed in just over one week when the cast and crew assemble at San Diego Comic Con.