Welcome to a new chapter of The Walking Dead.

During the hit AMC zombie series’ Comic-Con panel in San Diego Friday, the action-packed trailer for the upcoming ninth season premiered.

The first look opened with Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) catching us — and a locked up Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) — up on the progress the communities have made in the time jump between season 8 and 9. “We’re building,” asserts Rick. “We’re growing.”

Alexandria is growing, with Maggie (Lauren Cohan) having given birth (finally!) and the neighboring communities coming together as one. The new mother isn’t settling for just that role as she tells Rick that it’s time for her to take over as the new leader (right in time for Andrew Lincoln’s departure). And that’s not the only disagreement between Rick and a longtime friend as Rick and Daryl face off one last time.

As hinted at the end of the trailer, the latest big bad from the comics to appear in the series will be Alpha, played by Fantastic Beasts star Samantha Morton. The character is the leader of The Whisperers, a group who attempts to blend in by wearing walker skin.

Joining Morton and Lauren Ridloff, who EW previously revealed will star as the show’s first deaf character Connie, are a slew of other new additions: Brett Butler (Grace Under Fire) as Tammy Rose, a Hilltop resident; John Finn as Earl, Hilltop’s blacksmith and Tammy Rose’s husband; Rhys Coiro (Entourage) as Jed, a rebellious Savior who refuses to fall in line; Dan Fogler (Fantastic Beasts) as Luke, a fatigued survivor who understands there is safety in numbers; Zach McGowen (Shameless) as Justin, a hostile Savior not interested in working together with the other communities; and Angel Theory as Kelly, Connie’s protective sister.

The Walking Dead returns to AMC on Oct. 7. Watch the full trailer above.

Episode Recaps

The Walking Dead

AMC's zombie thriller, based on the classic comic book serial created by Robert Kirkman.

  • TV Show
  • 11
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