The long-anticipated Whisperers have finally reached The Walking Dead, but showrunner Angela Kang hopes to catch even comic book aficionados off guard in bringing the fan-favorite enemies to the television series.
Episode 906, "Who Are You Now?," ended with Rosita (Christian Serratos) and Eugene (Josh McDermitt) encountering walkers seemingly capable of speech, hissing warnings against allowing the fleeing Alexandrians to escape.
"This is part of the mystery of the story of the Whisperers that we're starting this season. What I'll say is there are some twists and turns to this story, but there will be some answers by the time we get to the midseason finale," Kang told THR.
The deceptively dangerous enemy group "opens up a Pandora's box of other things," Kang warned. "Hang on: it's a really cool ride."
As first reported by ComicBook.com, Season Nine concept art appeared to confirm the series will adapt one of the comic book's most shocking cliffhangers — a brutal and gory turning point capable of forcing a squirm out of even the most desensitized of viewers.
The storyline, which played out between volumes 22—27 in creator Robert Kirkman's comic books, is among Kang's favorites.
"These issues were coming up while we were working on a prior season of the show. As we were reading the issue in the office, everybody was like, 'Oh my god. What just happened? What is Robert Kirkman even doing here? What could possibly be next?'" Kang said.
"The answers were so satisfying and fascinating to us. I hope the audience gets to experience it the way readers experienced reading it."
New threats on the way this season include Alpha (Samantha Morton) and number two Beta (Ryan Hurst), the former described by director-producer Greg Nicotero as a "chilling" villain who headlines "one of the best scenes we shot all season."
"I left set and the I went back to the makeup effects trailer with my crew, and they were like, 'I can't wait to see this season,'" Nicotero told Access. "My crew, the people that work on the show, are excited about it!"
"So all we can really hope is that mystery, that intrigue, the idea that there's this whole new threat coming — and it's terrifying," he added. "I want to get to it as quickly as we can to let people see how dedicated we are to making the show great and keeping the show great."0comments
McDermitt — whose Eugene is particularly menaced by the new threat — told EW, "It's a very scary threat that I don't think we've seen before on the show, at least from the character's point of view. It's an exciting place to be because there's so much unknown."
The Walking Dead Season Nine continues Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.