When AMC's flagship series The Walking Dead returns with new episodes on Oct. 7, the zombie drama is going to feel a lot different. With new showrunner Angela Kang beginning her run on the show with season 9, the series will feel like a bit of a new beginning in many ways. Because there will have been a significant time jump since season 8, and the landscape isn't going to be the same on the show. Major characters will be leaving, and and several interesting new ones are on the way. But we're going to start noticing the differences right away, as the opening title sequence itself is getting a huge makeover.
For the past eight seasons, the intro for the show always felt the same. Against that creepy Walking Dead theme music, we're shown images relating to various cast members and the new world they're living in. As each season passed, the Walking Dead logo would further decay, and the imagery would change to be consistent with the current cast. The style of the intro seen in the past eight seasons has come to an end, however, as season 9 presents a new animated version of the opening titles.
Now, the intro for the AMC zombie drama will be completely animated, and a video of it has already made its way online. Like the comic book series, the images in the segment are mostly black-and-white, with quick flashes of other colors mixed in. We can see plenty of ravens, which isn't unusual as they've been shown in seasons past. Animated zombies appear on the screen as well, all with the names of the remaining stars of the show flashing on the screen. Eagle-eyed viewers can keep an eye out for the various Easter eggs, which Angela Kang describes as ranging from super obvious to hard-to-miss.
"We had fun burying the iconic objects from the show into the titles. Some of them, we made very obvious. Others? They're more like Easter eggs for people to go around looking for. That's part of what's fun for me when I watch this type of show: looking for the hidden clues in things. We felt it was a nice microcosm of what some of the fun of the show is for people. There's what's there on the surface, and then there's what you'll find if you dig around in the dark corners."
It's been made clear that season 9 will see an early exit for both Andrew Lincoln and Lauren Cohan. These heavy losses will force a new creative direction for The Walking Dead, and for fans, the show will now feel like a sequel series in some way. However, some familiar faces remain behind to appease the longtime fans, including Norman Reedus' Daryl Dixon and Melissa McBride's Carol Peletier. With plans to produce at least another decade's worth of material set in the Walking Dead universe, it's evident AMC has big plans for the show moving forward.