AMC has officially released the full list of episode titles and writer and directing teams for the front half of The Walking Dead Season Nine.
Directing the Season Nine premiere is longtime special makeup effects guru-turned-director Greg Nicotero, who made his series directorial debut with Season Two episode “Judge, Jury, Executioner” in 2012.
Nicotero also helms the fifth episode of the season, “What Comes After,” penned by five-year veteran Matthew Negrete and executive producer and former five-season showrunner Scott Gimple. The episode will act as the sendoff for leading man Andrew Lincoln, who steps away from the role of Rick Grimes this season to spend more time with his young family.
Boarding the series is director Daisy Mayer, who helmed her first entry in the franchise in spinoff Fear The Walking Dead in the front half of its fourth season.
Also stepping behind the camera for his inaugural directing duty on the series is first-time director Michael Cudlitz, who previously starred as fan-favorite Abraham Ford between seasons Four and Seven. Cudlitz is just the actor-director to helm a Walking Dead episode, after Fear star Colman Domingo recently made his television directorial debut on that series’ Season Four episode “Weak.”
Michael E. Satrazemis, a series veteran of four years who helmed a quarter of Season Eight, returns to direct the mid-season finale, “Evolution,” scripted by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, who has written for the show on-and-off since Season Two.
That tenure is on par with new Season Nine showrunner Angela Kang, who has served as a writer-producer on the series since its sophomore season in 2011. Kang pens the Nicotero-directed season premiere.
Other fresh faces this season include Vivian Tse, who joins the series with episode 907, and relative newcomer Eddie Guzelian, who wrote two Season Eight episodes.
901: “A New Beginning”
Kang writes the season premiere, her first episode as showrunner. Kang has scripted more than 25 episodes of The Walking Dead since Season Two, including Nicotero’s series directorial debut as well as fan-favorite Season Four finale “A,” which saw a savage Rick Grimes sink his teeth into Claimer leader Joe (Jeff Kober) when the marauder threatened Rick’s tight-knit family, including Carl (Chandler Riggs), Michonne (Danai Gurira) and Daryl (Norman Reedus).
Nicotero has directed nearly 30 episodes of the series, typically helming each season’s biggest episodes, namely season premieres and finales. It was Nicotero who steered acclaimed Season Five premiere “No Sanctuary,” which saw Rick and co. battle their way out of the cannibal den that was Terminus after one-woman-warrior Carol (Melissa McBride) infiltrated the enemy camp.
The director has also helmed other milestone episodes, including Season Six mid-season premiere “No Way Out” — where Alexandria banded together to slaughter an invading walker horde — and Season Six finale “Last Day on Earth,” the introduction of new big bad Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), and controversial Season Seven premiere “The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be,” where Cudlitz’s Abraham and Glenn (Steven Yeun) were brutally executed by Negan’s beloved barbwire-wrapped baseball bat Lucille.prevnext
902: “The Bridge”
David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick is an accomplished screenwriter, having penned horror hits Orphan and The Conjuring 2 as well as upcoming DC Films production Aquaman. Johnson-McGoldrick’s time with The Walking Dead extends back to Season Two, when he wrote Daryl-centric episode “Chupacabra.”
Other episodes on his resume as writer include “Some Guy” — which saw Kingdom leader King Ezekiel (Khary Payton) suffer devastating losses — and Season Eight mid-season finale “How It’s Gotta Be,” where Carl stepped up as interim Alexandrian leader before revealing an incurable walker bite he sustained earlier that season.
With more than 20 years as a film and television director, Daisy Mayer directed 1995 Parker Posey comedy Party Girl and 1998’s Madeline as well as episodes of hit television series Mad Men, Nurse Jackie, Shameless, Orange is the New Black, and Ray Donovan.prevnext
903: “Warning Signs”
Corey Reed has scripted multiple episodes of crime drama Medium and has served as a writer on The Walking Dead since Season Five in 2014. He co-wrote “Four Walls and a Roof” with Kang, depicting the slaughter of Gareth (Andrew J. West) and the Termites, as well as Season Eight episode “The Key,” with co-writer Channing Powell, which introduced mysterious Hilltop benefactor Georgie (Jayne Atkinson) while Rick and Negan engaged in a vicious cat-and-mouse game that culminated with Rick setting fire to Lucille.
Dan Liu, an editor on the series since Season Four, directs. “Warning Signs” marks just his second episode as director on the series, following Season Eight episode “Some Guy.”prevnext
904: “The Obliged”
Geraldine Inoa scripts for Rosemary Rodriguez, who has directed episodes of Law & Order, Rescue Me, Criminal Minds, Hell on Wheels, Marvel’s Jessica Jones and a lengthy run on The Good Wife.
Rodriguez is a relative newcomer to The Walking Dead, having directed Carl and Negan-centric Season Seven episode “Sing Me a Song” and Season Eight’s “The Damned,” which ended with the surprise return of ally-turned-foe Morales (Juan Gabriel Pareja).prevnext
905: “What Comes After”
What will prove to be one of the landmark episodes of both the season and the entire series is under the stewardship of director Nicotero and screenwriters Matthew Negrete & Scott Gimple.
Negrete previously scripted Season Five episode “Consumed,” which put the spotlight on Carol and Daryl as they searched for a kidnapped Beth (Emily Kinney), suspense-filled Season Six finale “Last Day on Earth,” Carl’s death episode, “Honor,” and Season Eight finale “Wrath,” which he co-wrote with Gimple and Kang.
As writer, Gimple has written 22 episodes of The Walking Dead, including Season Two classics “Pretty Much Dead Already” and “18 Miles Out,” two episodes that heavily featured the antagonistic Shane Walsh (Jon Bernthal) — who makes his return this season by way of flashback or hallucination.
Gimple has also written such acclaimed episodes as “This Sorrowful Life,” Merle’s death episode, “The Grove,” where Carol famously executed a mentally-ill Lizzie (Brighton Sharbino), “No Sanctuary,” and the two-part “Last Day on Earth” and “The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be.”prevnext
906: “Who Are You Now”
906 marks Guzelian’s third episode of the series, following the Father Gabriel-heavy “Dead or Alive Or” and “Still Gotta Mean Something,” which teamed up Rick and longtime ally Morgan (Lennie James) one last time and saw the pair ruthlessly execute a squad of surrendering Saviors.
Larry Teng, a longtime television director, with credits on Arrow, NCIS: Los Angeles, Elementary, and Supergirl, directs his second episode on the series. He joined last season with “Time for After.”prevnext
First-time series writer Vivian Tse joins alongside Cudlitz in his directorial debut.prevnext
Johnson-McGoldrick scripts for Satrazemis, who made his series debut in 2014 with standout episode “The Grove.” Other significant episodes include Season Six mid-season finale and nail-biter “Start to Finish,” which saw Alexandria penetrated by a horde of walkers, and that season’s penultimate episode, “East,” which set up the Michonne, Glenn and Daryl’s capture at the hands of the Saviors.0comments
Satrazemis also boarded Fear this season as a director-producer, directing five episodes this season, including its upcoming Season Four finale, ‘Lose Myself.’
The Walking Dead Season Nine premieres Sunday, October 7 on AMC.prev