For years, The Walking Dead fans were mentally preparing themselves for Andrew Lincoln to return as Rick Grimes on the big screen, only for those plans to get a massive tweak at this year’s Comic-Con, where it was revealed Lincoln and Danai Gurira would be reuniting for a six-episode limited series on AMC. That series is perhaps the highest-profile spinoff possible, in a lineup that also includes Norman Reedus’ Daryl-focused offshoot and the currently filming Isle of the Dead follow-up with Maggie and Negan. While many facts about each of those shows are still behind lock and key, franchise ringleader Scott Gimple thankfully shared some new details during Talking Dead’s preview for everything coming up in the Walking Dead universe.
Rick And Michonne’s Spinoff
With Tales of the Walking Dead co-star Terry Crews sitting on the Talking Dead couch as interested as anyone could be about everything being shared about the new series, Scott Gimple & Co. craftily made audiences wait until the very end of the special for all things Rick and Michonne to come up. But at least his description makes the new project sound like it’s exactly what fans are hoping for. Here’s how he started:
It’s been a lot of fun to work on. I’ve been working on it very, very deeply with Danai and with Andy, and we continue to work on it pretty much every day together with some Walking Dead vets, and some great new voices. It’s an epic love story, but it’s an epic and insane love story. These are two people who have been separated for a very long time. They have lived whole other existences, and they have to find themselves again, let alone each other. It’s hopefully gonna be mindblowing.
Maybe it’s just me, but Gimple seemed to be speaking bemusedly when addressing the fact that he and others have worked for as long as they have on nailing down the proper way to approach a Rick-geared follow-up. Now that it’s finally gone beyond the concept stage and is closing in on the “let’s actually film this thing” stage, the former Walking Dead showrunner can at last use concrete descriptions like “epic and insane love story” to describe the project without having to worry about things pivoting in a different direction.
But even though fans will get to experience all the feels that are expected to accompany Andrew Lincoln and Danai Gurira’s on-screen reunion as Rick and Michonne, that doesn’t mean we’re only going to see the iconic characters in ooshy-gooshy mode. Scott Gimple said they will definitely tap back into their more primal and violent selves.
We see this incredible power couple, but we also see that Red Machete Rick, we see the Michonne that taught a thing or two to The Governor. It kinda goes coast to coast that way between the intimate and the epic and the insane.
How all of this will factor into the CRM group that took Rick away after he nearly died in Season 9 is anyone’s guess, but I’m betting there will be a lot of uniformed bodies on the ground when Rick and Michonne walk off into the metaphorical sunset.
On the Daryl side of things, not a whole lot of info has come out in the aftermath of Walking Dead star Melissa McBride deciding to back out of co-leading that spinoff as Carol. But now Scott Gimple has revealed exactly where Daryl will resurface in the world following the mothership series’ finale later this year, and confirmed Talking Dead host Chris Hardwick’s interjection on how it ties into TWD: World Beyond’s series finale (which will also pay off in TWD proper’s final eight episodes).
The Daryl spinoff takes place in France. Because it was the most obvious choice for Daryl. . . . There is a little bit of a tease of some of the things that Daryl is gonna face in the final little coda of World Beyond. Daryl is a fish out of water with people to start with; if Daryl finds himself with new people, he’s a fish out of water. In France, in a country that’s going through — in the apocalypse — an entirely different thing, he finds himself having to reinvent himself again, having to find himself again, and also just not being with probably the only people in the world he’s comfortable with.
If anybody had questions about how Maggie and Negan were going to make it from the mainland to Manhattan in all its post-apocalyptic glory, those questions will no doubt be magnified several times over by the prospect of Norman Reedus' redneck survivor crossing an entire ocean. (You just know he's one of those people who'll just shout the same thing louder when talking to someone who doesn't understand English.) That said, I would get a kick out of seeing Daryl completely change up his personality while in a place where literally no one knows him, assuming we don't later learn that someone else from the Walking Dead stable will join him in the spinoff. He should get some thin glasses and a lab coat, stat.
Speaking to both France and Isle of the Dead's NYC as settings for this new era of Walking Dead content, Scott Gimple said:
New York City is its own world, France is its own world in the apocalypse. They’re very, very different. They’re very, very deep. And that’s what we’re trying to do with these shows. We’re trying to have these big characters in these big new worlds.
While fans won't get to see any of those spinoffs until 2023 and beyond, The Walking Dead will return to AMC relatively soon for its final eight episodes, which will kick off on Sunday, October 2, at 9:00 p.m. ET.