Earlier this week we finally got our first real glimpse of the third series in AMC's Walking Dead franchise via some new images of that particular corner of the zombie-infested world. On Saturday, the show got its moment in the spotlight at New York Comic Con, and we learned a bit more about what to expect from the upcoming second spinoff series.
According to Scott M. Gimple, the former Walking Dead showrunner who now oversees the franchise's entire live-action universe, the new series will introduce "a new world" of survival, picking up 10 years into the zombie apocalypse, and while it exists in the same world as The Walking Dead, the characters from this new series will not be aware of those survivors. In fact, when we first meet them, our new heroes don't know much about the outside world at all. Remember those three circles on the helicopter Rick Grimes saw in Season 9? Well, according to Gimple, those circles represent three different pockets of civilization, and the new show will take us to one of those places, where we'll meet a group of young people who've grown up in a privileged, walled-off existence even with walkers out there. They're aware of walkers, and they've been taught how to kill them, but they haven't really had to venture out and fight like other characters we've met. Now they'll finally have to...and they might have a little trouble adjusting.
“They’ve been aware of Walkers, but they haven’t really been interacting with them," Gimple said. "They’ve been behind walls.”
Before discussing the new series, Gimple and company ran a short teaser focusing on these young survivors looking out on a world of zombies, which characters on this series will call "Empties." The teaser ended with one of our heroes attempting to impale a walker on a spear, only to vomit on it instead.
Check it out below:
"It's about growing up. It's about starting these characters in a young and interesting place," showrunner Matthew Negrete teased, citing Stand By Me as one of the show's biggest influences.
Gimple also teased that because we're dealing with privileged people who've managed to maintain a level of civlization while also existing in a zombie apocalypse, we're going to get some cool new weapons as part of this new world.
“Because this is a First World place in the apocalypse, they have these Walker-specific weapons," he said. "They’re hybrid weapons and just the ways that these guys handle them, [it looks like] they’ve been using them [for years.]”
Gimple also teased the possibility of crossovers between shows, something The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead have already done, as this new corner of the world develops. If you're concerned about continuity, though, don't worry: Gimple also confirmed that you don't need to be a Walking Dead superfan to follow the new series.
"This mythology has already touched both shows," he said. "It's very much on its own, but there are points [of crossover]."
The Walking Dead comic book series co-creator Robert Kirkman, who serves as an executive producer for the TV side of things, expressed his joy at seeing yet another intriguing expansion of his zombie-infested world, calling himself "a proud grandfather."
“The Walking Dead universe is a huge universe and it’s getting bigger by the day," he said. "I think it's safe to say that [this show] is expanding the universe in the biggest ways yet.”
Starring Aliyah Royale, Alexa Mansour, Annet Mahendru, Nicolas Cantu, Hal Cumpston, and Nico Tortorella, the new series will focus on yet another aspect of the twisted world of The Walking Dead, telling the stories of the first generation of children who've grown up entirely in a world after the walkers took everything over. According to the show's official synopsis "Some will become heroes. Some will become villains. In the end, all of them will be changed forever. Grown-up and cemented in their identities, both good and bad.”
Sadly, what we still don't have for the series, despite all of these new teases, is a title. There's still plenty of time for the show to reveal that, though, as we'll be waiting until the spring of 2020 for the new series to premiere.
Click here for SYFY WIRE's full coverage of New York Comic Con 2019, including up-to-the-minute news, exclusive interviews, and videos.