'The Walking Dead' Season 9 Will Pursue Civilization

With the war between the survivors and the Saviors over, The Walking Dead will next set its sights on rebuilding civilization.

"I think what's exciting about next season is, just by virtue of the narrative, the story evolves a great deal," executive producer Scott Gimple told TV Line.

"From the things said in the finale, there's a bigger ambition now, a bigger thing that they're chasing. It isn't just regular, everyday survival, which they've become quite adept at. It's what to do with that. Now they're going after civilization."

Gimple, who has since vacated his position as showrunner to serve as chief content officer of the Walking Dead brand for AMC, previously said the first season under new showrunner Angela Kang will bring "sophistication" and even higher stakes.

Now that Rick Grimes has taken his first steps towards the new world by sparing Negan and dissolving the conflict with the Saviors, his community of survivors are setting sights on achieving the "very ambitious dream" of a more peaceful future envisioned by a dying Carl.

Making that dream reality "requires cooperation," Gimple said, "and the stakes are much, much higher. That leads to very different types of stories and different sorts of conflicts."

Leading man Andrew Lincoln told ComicBook.com he's excited for Kang's tenure, revealing the writer-producer already pitched her first half of season 9.

"There's a renewed vigor, vitality, energy, and just vision that's happening that is reminiscent, and certainly for me, of the pilot episode," Lincoln said. "There's a lot of things in there that I kind of dig that she's looking into. The things that I loved about the pilot episode, there's a few ideas in there that she's expanding and running with, which is very exciting."

Gimple similarly praised season 9's evolved narrative, remarking this next batch of episodes takes a "quantum leap forward in the stories that it tells."

The survivors, split into the Alexandria, Hilltop, and Kingdom communities, will be "dealing with things we haven't seen them deal with before and dealing with each other in ways we haven't seen before," according to the EP.

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Season 9 will likely tug on the threads introduced in season 8 by way of Jadis' ties to that mysterious recurring helicopter and the newfound relationship between the Hilltop and Georgie, the benefactor who handed down a so-called key to a future — plans intended to build up Hilltop into a formidable community more in step with the civilized society of old.

The Walking Dead season 9 arrives this October on AMC.