AMC's The Walking Dead wraps up its eighth season this weekend, and according to showrunner Scott Gimple it will be closing the books on not just Season 8 but every season since the show's inception in 2010. In essence, he's implying that Season 9 will have the same characters and setting but, in a way, be a new show entirely.
"This episode isn’t just like these 15 episodes coming to a conclusion, but Angela and myself and the writers had always talked about this in many ways being sort of the conclusion of the first eight seasons," he said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. "This show will be very much a new show next year and with a bigger, new narrative. It was something I was really excited about getting into even before Season 8. And so there was just a certain weight in the air of the kind of conclusion that we were getting closer to. It was a weird graduation for everybody."
It's certainly a graduation for Gimple, who will no longer serve as showrunner after this season. He'll be handing over the undead reins to co-executive producer Angela Kang for Season 9. Gimple explained himself further by saying there will be massive emotional shifts for the characters and a larger scope, with an altercation that he's hesitant to label as a "battle."
"I guess with so many people, so many characters reaching the conclusion of the story that we’ve been laying out for them over the past few years in some regards, there’s just a lot going on, and a lot of perspectives that we’re shifting between and some very, very big emotional and philosophical movement between just some unbelievably insane things happening," said Gimple.
The Season 8 finale of The Walking Dead, "Wrath," airs this Sunday on AMC and will be immediately followed by the season premiere of Fear The Walking Dead and the long-awaited crossover of Morgan (Lennie James) on the prequel series.