The Walking Dead has officially wrapped production on its ninth season.
The AMC series began production on its Season Nine episodes in early May and wrapped during the second week of November. It is a finish far ahead of the recent seasons, with Season Eight having run right up to Thanksgiving as the All Out War story's conclusion was put together.
Season Nine's back half brought together some of the show's most unique content, including elements which the show has never attempted before. However, chief among the new elements which have been revealed so far are the Whisperers and a massive time jump.
The first look at The Walking Dead's future was revealed at the conclusion of Episode 9x05. "I think you got a little flavor of it right there," The Walking Dead executive producer Greg Nicotero said, appearing on ComicBook.com's After the Dead show, moments after AMC show revealed a six year time jump with a much older Judith Grimes being introduced to conclude Rick's final episode.
"I mean, there's so much great story coming up and you know I've done a lot of press and talked about Samantha Morton and The Whisperers, and we've been teasing a lot of that in this last promo," Nicotero said. "It really just feels like a different show and in a good way, not in a way where we feel like there's a void that we have to fill."
In regards to the Whisperers, fans will get their first taste of the villainous group known well by comic book fans in Sunday night's Episode 9x06. As for their leaders, Alpha and Beta (portrayed by Morten and Ryan Hurst, respectively), fans might not see them until The Walking Dead's 2019 episodes as only a trio remain in the first half of Season Nine.
"Part of the time jump, what that accomplishes is it gets us sort of past sort of playing, everybody grieving over it and it allows us to really jump into a sort of accelerated storyline where we don't have to feel like there's four stories with them grieving what they believe is the loss of Rick," Nicotero said. "It's a great device to introduce these new characters and I really love it."
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 pm ET. Fear the Walking Dead will return for its fifth season in 2019. For complete coverage and insider info all year long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter and watch ComicBook.com's After The Dead each Sunday night following new episodes.