The Walking Dead made its debut ten years ago and quickly became a pop culture phenomenon. Over the past decade, AMC’s survival-horror series elevated itself from television’s most popular show to one of the most successful programs in TV history.
The Walking Dead’s appeal may seem obvious. Who isn’t down for a weekly hit of an addictive zombie apocalypse tale? The premise, after all, makes for thrilling TV; it’s tense as hell, crazy-violent, and the zombie makeup and gore effects are second to none. But the series is so much deeper than its gore-splattered grindhouse facade. Fans come back week after week to watch their beloved characters survive in the show’s morally grey world — and occasionally get slaughtered by TV’s most ruthless villains.
But The Walking Dead’s biggest draw is its rich mythology. The dystopic world the characters inhabit may be bleak as hell, but it’s rich with storytelling possibilities. So it makes sense that The Walking Dead brand would spawn multiple spinoffs.
The first spinoff, Fear The Walking Dead made its debut in August 2015 and went on to air five seasons. While the show’s ratings have steadily declined each year, AMC picked up the program for a sixth season.
Last April, AMC announced that they had greenlit the third series in the expanding The Walking Dead universe. The new show, now titled The Walking Dead: World Beyond, was co-created by Scott M. Gimple (Chief Content Officer of The Walking Dead universe) and Matt Negrete (a writer-producer on The Walking Dead and Showrunner of the new series).
What is World Beyond about?
The new program takes place nearly a decade after the apocalypse, and follows, “Two young female protagonists and focuses on the first generation to come-of-age in the apocalypse as we know it.”
David Madden, president of programming for AMC Networks and AMC Studios stated,
We’re thrilled that the Dead will keep walking into a new corner of the post-apocalyptic world, a corner that will present stories and characters unlike any that The Walking Dead has dramatized thus far and that is bound to excite one of the most passionate fanbases in television
World Beyond’s co-creator Scott M. Gimple said,
Showing audiences an unseen pocket of The Walking Dead Universe steeped in a new mythology is a very cool way to celebrate a ‘Decade of the Dead’ on TV and over fifteen years of Robert Kirkman’s brilliant comic.
Gimple later added,
Matt Negrete is one of the best writer-producers in TWD’s long history — I’m thrilled to be working beside him to tell stories unlike we’ve seen before, taking our first step into an even larger world.
AMC gave fans a first look at their upcoming spinoff, The Walking Dead: World Beyond at New York Comic Con in October 2019.
Last month a teaser trailer dropped offering one more peek at the upcoming series’ take on the zombie apocalypse. Spoilers: it’s f*cked.
World Beyond official synopsis:
A two-season limited series event, The Walking Dead: World Beyond features a heroic group of teens who, sheltered from the dangers of the post-apocalyptic world, receive a message that inspires them to leave the safety of the only home they have ever known and embark on a cross-country journey to save their father–and possibly the world. Some will become heroes. Some will become villains. In the end, all of them will be changed forever.
Who stars in the show?
World Beyond stars Aliyah Royale (The Red Line), Alexa Mansour (Unfriended: Dark Web), Annet Mahendru (The Romanoffs), Nicolas Cantu (Dragons: Rescue Riders), Hal Cumpston (Bilched), Nico Tortorella (Younger) and Julia Ormond (Mad Men).
Scott M. Gimple, Matt Negrete, Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, David Alpert and Brian Bockrath serve as executive producers.
What’s the current status of the series?
AMC is billing World Beyond as a two-season “limited event.” This means that AMC will only produce two ten-episode seasons.
AMC scheduled World Beyond to premiere on Sunday, April 12. But that was before the coronavirus pandemic derailed the entire entertainment industry’s release schedule. With the program’s debut only a few weeks away, AMC announced they would be moving the launch date to
“Later this year.” AMC also halted production on The Walking Dead and Fear The Walking Dead.
World Beyond had wrapped filming and was in post-production on the season’s last few episodes before COVID-19 forced AMC to shut things down.