An all-new opening sequence isn't the only thing that will look different in The Walking Dead's upcoming ninth season. According to effects artist and director Greg Nicotero, the zombies themselves will look different. Which makes sense, given that the new season will start 18 month after the Season 8 finale, which aired earlier this year.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Nicotero said, "Because of the time jump we’ve been able to really play up a much more decomposed and decrepit look."
"Our mid-ground makeup, and our background makeup, all of our stuff has been elevated. It feels much more like an Italian horror movie," he said. "I think there’s more of a Lucio Fulci zombie flair to what we’ve been doing this season, just because of the fact that we really wanted to elevate the level of decomposition. Every walker that I shot in the first episode, they get close-ups. It was important to me to make sure that the audience knows that the walkers are still very, very much a device to show how far the world has decomposed."
In addition to the new, rapidly decomposing zombies, Nicotero said this new season, which has been hailed as an all-new era for the long-running series, has "gone back to our roots."
"I feel like when The Walking Dead really, really worked, it was much more intimate stories with characters that we were invested in, characters that we loved, and characters that we knew," Nicotero said. "So I really feel like this season we’re really going back to what we did really well in Season 2, Season 3, Season 4, which is to really make sure that every scene between these characters count, every word they say is important."
The Walking Dead Season 9 will premiere this Sunday on AMC. Will you be tuning in? Let us know in the comments.