TV Line's Michael Ausiello was asked if he had "any hints about Shane’s return on The Walking Dead," and he did his best to answer.
"We tried to get something out of Scott Gimple, chief content officer for all things Dead," Ausiello said, "but he was still bummed that Jon Bernthal’s 'surprise' guest appearance had been spoiled when 'photographs came out like a moment after he landed in Georgia.' So all he’d say was that Shane’s appearance involves 'some very cool, very heavy stuff.'"
Interestingly, Gimple's comment seems to echo when series star Andrew Lincoln said fans could "without a doubt" expect season one vibes from the new season while speaking to ComicBook.com during an interview at the 2018 San Diego Comic-Con.
"I think there were a lot of the pilot episode that was reminiscent of this opening episode and also a couple of other episodes, too," Lincoln said. "We have a few surprises as we both know but we're not allowed to talk about."
"We loved it. We have to talk about Angela Kang if we talk about this season, because she is the creative force this season," Lincoln added, praising the shows new showrunner, Kang, for the current direction.
"She's been on the show since Season Two and I think she's breathed new life into it and given us a collaborative feel on set and also just an energy. A real positive energy," he went on to say. "It feels like the show that I always thought we would get to when I shot the pilot in Atlanta nine years ago."
Notably, the upcoming season will be Lincoln's last, as the actor previously announced his departure from the show. "Let me clarify something," the actor told Entertainment Weekly in a past interview. "Yes, it’s my last season on the TV show, The Walking Dead."
He went on to explain that while he got through the filming of everything, it wasn't until the Comic-Con experience that he began to feel emotional.0comments
"Completing the show was like releasing air finally. And it was very satisfying the last two episodes in particular," he stated. "But doing a panel and having to talk to [thousands of] people in Hall H and then have all my friends hug me at the end? The s— got real, is the truth of the matter."
The Walking Dead season nine is scheduled to premiere on Oct. 7, 2018.