The Walking Dead season 9 is going to be making a time jump. The season 8 finale didn't leave fans off on a frustrating cliffhanger, but that sort of left the door wide open for a lot of change and growth moving forward. Indeed, there is a lot of change coming our way next season and now new showrunner Angela Kang has confirmed that we're going to be taking a leap forward in the timeline.

Angela Kang, who takes over for Scott M. Gimple as showrunner on the upcoming season, made the reveal during AMC's recent Kick-Ass Women of AMC panel. Kang decided to remain tight-lipped in regards to the pending departures of both Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes and Lauren Cohan as Maggie Greene. She did, however, address some of what's to come, at least in vague terms, during the course of The Walking Dead season 9. Here's what she had to say about it.

"What's really fun for me is we're working on a season that has a really fresh look and feel. We come in on some pretty fun stuff. I'm really focusing a lot on the core character relationships in the show that have kind of been long-lasting, as well as all of our wonderful series regulars...We're playing with time in the story, we're jumping forward in time."

The season 8 finale concluded the All Out War storyline and, in the comics, time moves forward two years following the conclusion of that arc. It looks like AMC is taking a similar approach with the show. But they're going to be diverting heavily from the source material from here on out, given the fact that Rick will no longer be the focus of the show, as Andrew Lincoln will only appear in a handful of episodes next season. Angela Kang also discussed the role women play on the show and what fans can expect from the female character next season.

"Our characters they're women, they go toe to toe with the men. We don't write damsels in distress. Or sometimes if they are the men are males in distress. The women save the men just as much as the men save the women. It's really a story about survivors who help each other through the apocalypse...We're going to see some really great stories with the women in our show, particularly. And I think for people who are really invested in Michonne [Danai Gurira], Maggie or Carol [Melissa McBride], there's such great material for them. For people who are looking for that specifically, they will see some really incredible work from our women."

The Walking Dead season 9 will debut on AMC this fall and it's clear this isn't going to be business as usual. Not only are a couple of major stars leaving, paving the way for Norman Reedus to become the new lead, but we recently learned that Jon Bernthal will return as Shane for at least one episode next season. That brings with it a new set of questions but we're sure to learn a bit more at San Diego Comic-Con next month. This news comes to us courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter.

Ryan Scott