New showrunner Angela Kang promised us a whole new look for season 9 of The Walking Dead, and she wasn’t kidding. AMC released the show’s new credits sequence, and it looks nothing like the ones from the first eight seasons. While each season of the show has tweaked the visuals on the credits somewhat, season 9 brings a radical new animated approach to the show. Watch the new credits for yourself below and read on as Kang explains the inspiration for the change as well as teasing some Easter eggs you may find along the way
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: This is the first real radical redoing of the opening title sequence you all have ever done. Why was now the time to redo this iconic part of the show?
ANGELA KANG: So, this might’ve been even more than a year ago when Scott Gimple was talking about his new role on moving forward and his wish for me to be the showrunner and all of that. One of the things he just mentioned was that the first eight seasons feel like they’re part of a chapter of the story, and it really lines up with the chapter and the comics. And he said, “You might want to think about whether or not you want to do new main titles. Like, a completely different look and feel from what it’s been.” And I loved that idea.
And so pretty early on in this season, I started talking to this title design company, Huge, which did an amazing job with the titles. I had a conversation with them about some of the different themes of the season, some of the feel that we’re going for. I said, “There’s this indie Western feel. We’re doing these key moments from the graphic novel. We’re exploring the ways that nature is taken over, so there’s like death into life. And there’s these giant flocks of birds.”
Yeah, definitely a lot of birds at the start of this.
They then came back with some amazing pitches, but I was really struck by what they called Poe. That was the codename, like Edgar Allan Poe. And we just started working on it with them. They had these amazing ideas that they brought to the table, and then we just had a back and forth about, like, “In this scene, could we add this?” Or, “What if we do these moments where things are things are bursting to life — where color pops in?”
And then we started also hiding these key objects that our characters from this season as well as past seasons have had, and just like littering the landscape with these objects that are there in various states of decay, or are just sitting there. And some of them are very obvious, and some of them are really just fun Easter eggs that the audience can have fun looking for, because we’re just trying to show a world where these things are just part of the landscape, because it sort of fits with some of the themes of the season.
An I imagine some of these images are foreshadowing to things that are going be happening down the line.
[Laughs] Yeah, there maybe some little things that point at things in episodes to come, so we had a lot of fun with it.
At the end there’s that big windmill with the walker stumbling towards it. Is there any specific significance to that image?
It’s one of the most iconic images from the comic book, is the windmill that’s in Alexandria. And so, we just loved that as an image because it takes a lot of human ingenuity to figure out in the apocalypse how to build a windmill. And it’s also like they’re figuring out how to use renewable power, and all this stuff.
So, we just love that as a symbol of some of the things that they’re trying to do this season, the way that they’re trying to rebuild everything. But also, we just wanted to always have that reminder that as much as they build, the dead are always there, always coming. And so, it just felt like that was true of the world of The Walking Dead. So we loved that as part of their pitch to end the sequence before we go to titles.
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