The Walking Dead comic may have come to a surprisingly sudden end this past month, but its televisual cousin shows no signs of slowing down.
The SDCC panels for The Walking Dead franchise were as popular as ever with a mixture of expected and unexpected news. The expected aspect was firming up details for the latest incarnation of the TWD universe, a THIRD (as yet untitled) series which begins shooting next week and will feature a younger cast: telling the story of essentially the first generation of characters with little or no memory of the world that existed before the zombie-plague took hold. The cast for the new show includes Aliyah Royale (as ‘Iris’), Annet Mahendru (as ‘Huck’), Alexa Mansour (as ‘Hope’), Nicolas Cantu (as ‘Elton’) and Hal Cumpston (as ‘Silas’). Little is known about their specific individual characters beyond that, but more information should be forthcoming as production continues. Main player Scott Gimple and Matt Negrete have created the show, with Negrette acting as showrunner and they’ve spoken of the intent to explore the apocalyptic world beyond the geographical areas they’ve concentrated on thus far… and that the young people in the new show will have come from a very different situation than the ones in the show to date… that they face danger from both zombies and human pursuers. Though several key actors in the main The Walking Dead show have deals that involve them possibly appearing in other parts of the franchise, there’s no news as to whether any familiar faces will also pop up. We do know that You’re the Worst, Kong: Skull Island director Jordan Vogt-Roberts will helm the opening episode.
Fans also got confirmation that busy actor/writer Danai Gurira (Michonne) will indeed be leaving the show at some point in the next season, though – of course – no specifics were given beyond that. It is not known if she will appear elsewhere in the franchise.
The more surprising news was the confirmation that the three television movies featuring Rick Grimes aren’t happening – or rather, they are but with the addition of Universal Pictures as a production partner, the ambition has been upped and the three projects are now NOT going to be shown on AMC but are going to be theatrical releases – with a trailer at SDCC noting that Rick’s further adventures were to be seen ‘only in theatres/cinemas’).
The Walking Dead itself returns to screens for its tenth run on 6th October with escalated threats to the community and Negan warning “If you don’t protect what belongs to you… sooner or later it belongs to someone else…”