'Walking Dead' Releases New Opening Credits Sequence After Eight Years

Major cast shakeups aren't the only thing that will be changing in The Walking Dead season nine. Ahead of Sunday's premiere, titled "A New Beginning," AMC released the new opening credits sequence, marking the first major change to the sequence since the series' pilot episode.

While the opening credits have undergone minor changes over the course of the first eight seasons, mostly slight changes in imagery and the decaying titles, season nine has completely changed the design. The new title credits no longer feature photos, instead switching to an animated approach that is dominated by black and white along with splashes of red.

"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," executive producer Angela Kang told Entertainment Weekly. "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."

She went on to explain that the credits, slightly inspired by Edgar Allen Poe, feature a number of Easter eggs, namely items of significance to the characters.

"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," she said. "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."

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Among those hidden objects is a pane of stained glass hanging from a tree, calling back to the spot where Rick and Negan had their final battle. Other Easter eggs include the helicopter, Michonne's katana, Daryl's crossbow. The opening credits now also feature "one of the most iconic images from the comic book," the windmill in Alexandria.

The Walking Dead season nine premieres Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.