While it’s certainly no longer the ratings behemoth it once was, The Walking Dead remains a key property for AMC, and during the Television Critics Association Press Tour, TWD chief content officer Scott M. Gimple has provided Entertainment Weekly with an update on all things Dead, including the previously announced Rick Grimes films and future spinoffs and limited series.
Firstly, regarding the Andrew Lincoln-headlined feature film(s), Gimple stated that: “We have a couple of different plans that we’re going with depending on a couple of different factors we have to deal with on everything from story to product aspects. There have been a lot of different aspects to it in terms of timing that are pretty much coming into rapid focus right now. I would say the past year in a lot of ways has been R&D on a lot of aspects of it. We are currently refining [the script]. I don’t want to say much more than that. It’s coming together amazingly, but we’re trying to make this very special for everybody involved and we’re holding our feet to the flames. It’s an incredibly deliberate process right now.”
Asked how the movie will differ from the TV series, Gimple added that: “The scale is bigger and the budget is bigger, and it’s The Walking Dead, but heightened, both in the narrative themes, but also in just what we see onscreen. I say heightened, but I should also say it’s also very different. It’s not going to be the exact same thing we saw on television, just larger. We are going in some wild new directions. Movies are a different beast than television. Television is like, boom, we’re done. Movies, to calibrate an hour and a half, two hours is no joke, and it’s been a lot of fun, but it’s a real challenge and we take it very seriously for the fans. We really want to deliver them something special, something worth their trip to the movies. We’re trying to be very deliberate and deliver something new.”
Gimple then turned his attention to the upcoming companion series The Walking Dead: World Beyond, and where it takes place within TWD timeline: “Technically, [World Beyond is] a little behind. But not much. Not enough for people to notice. It’s very, very close to being simultaneous, but a little bit back, yes. Not in any way that anyone will possibly notice. We’re going to be discovering this very big aspect to the world that we haven’t yet seen. We’ve seen glimpses of it on the shows with the helicopters and with the soldier that we saw, Isabelle on Fear…In some ways, World Beyond, it’s a big story and yet it’s sort of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to Rick’s Hamlet, meaning the show and the movie touch upon some of the same things, but they’re not really that deeply related.”
Between the main series, spinoffs Fear the Walking Dead and The Walking Dead: World Beyond, and the three planned Rick Grimes movies, one would think that Gimple has more than enough his plate for the time being, but he also went on to reveal that plans are afoot to further expand the franchise through limited series and other potential TV projects:
“We’re working on a big push of something I was working on originally and then I got much more focused on the shows in my first year on this job and developing World Beyond and getting the movie going. We really do want to come out with different TV formats, meaning shorter things, and then some event series, limited event series. I’m trying to get together a number of different things that we can show at different times during the year, and this focuses on characters we miss and we lost. It focuses on aspects of that new mythology. It focuses on stories that occur in our universe and have nothing to do with anything. Nothing to do with the shows or the movies, that are just these little zombie tales that happen in our world with our rules and our timeline but are just really great zombie stories, really great stories of the end of the world. I’ve been working on that with a variety of people, and that’s actually proving to be super fun and interesting.”
Are you excited about the future of The Walking Dead? If you’re only of the many who’ve tuned out, do you think any of these upcoming projects could lure you back in? Let us know in the comments below or on our social channels @FlickeringMyth…