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The Walking Dead season eight wrapped up in the UK last night as Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) slashed arch enemy Negan’s (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) throat before deciding to let him live, but with the hit zombie show’s key antagonist now left to “rot in a cell”, season nine is very much up in the air.
Asked by Entertainment Weekly what to expect when the series returns, showrunner Scott Gimple said: “The show evolves. They’re facing different problems. They’re facing different problems with each other. And the world itself will be very, very different.”
Gimple is now moving over to a chief content officer role across both The Walking Dead and Fear The Walking Dead, with current writer and co-executive producer Angela Kang taking over as The Walking Dead showrunner.
Season nine is set to premiere late 2018.
Towards the end of last night’s season finale, Rick slashed Negan’s throat before locking him up in a cell and deciding to let him live as on as an example to anyone who goes against the law.
As Rick announced he was letting Negan live, Maggie (Lauren Cohan) had to be restrained by Michonne (Danai Gurira). “It’s not over till he’s dead!” she cried.
In the final scene, Maggie, Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Jesus (Tom Payne) began to plot against Rick and Michonne.
“We need our strength,” Maggie told Jesus. “The ability to defend ourselves better. We have to have that. But Rick and Michonne – Rick was wrong to do what he did. Michonne, too. So we’re going to bide our time, wait for our moment, and then we’re going to show him.”
Daryl then stepped out of the shadows to say: “Yeah we will.”
As for whether Maggie, Daryl and Jesus are now in a civil war plot against Rick, Gimple said: “It looks like that to me.
“Lauren [Cohan] is so amazing in that scene. She’s full Maggie Corleone.
“And Jesus, you know, he would not have killed the surrendering Saviors, but he’s not Morgan (Lennie James). Like, he could kill Negan. That certainly isn’t off the menu for Jesus.”