One of the big questions we have about The Walking Dead (aside from how to escape that train car) is what the producers are cooking up for the spinoff series — and now showrunner Scott Gimple has dropped a few hints.
Collider caught up with Gimple to talk about everything from the eventual end of the series to the spinoff currently in development at AMC, not to mention the eagerly anticipated fifth season on the way this fall.
First up: The spinoff. They’re apparently keeping the staffs somewhat centralized, as Gimple confirms he doesn’t have much involvement in the project, though he did tease that a crossover could be in the offing down the line. He also dropped a hint about the potential format, noting that it may focus on a new community/faction of survivors (which isn’t much, but it's something) that could put a twist on one of the comic’s best arcs:
“I have little to do with the spinoff… This I do know. It’s set in the world of The Walking Dead but from what I understand, it’s not like Daryl’s cousin or anything… I would never say never [to a crossover between the shows] because if I was a viewer I would say that sounds awesome. But we’re doing our own show. I also think a crossover might be tough because it would take a lot of [license] within the comic story. We’ll see. When we get to all-out war, who knows? We’ll add another faction. It’ll be the Saviors and the Hilltop and the ‘Spin-offers’.”
In an interesting aside, Gimple also revealed he doesn’t know all the details of the endgame series creator Robert Kirkman is working toward in the comic. Yes, he knows the broad strokes to keep the TV series heading in that direction, but he’s made it a point not to “spoil” the comic experience entirely. As huge fans of the print series, we have to respect that move:
“I would say ‘Yes’ [there is an end-game]. I actually don’t like spoiling myself on the comic. I read it as I go. Robert’s offered to tell me the whole thing so I get general aspects of it. I know the emotional end game of the show but there’s practical aspects, I want to keep with the comic. With these characters, you definitely have to think of the emotional endgame and that is very much a part of where I’m headed. But I want to have the flexibility to change the practicals with the comic and I don’t want Robert to spoil the whole series for me.”
Lastly, Gimple touched on the structure of season five and promised they’ll be putting some major twists on the comic storyline they’re using as inspiration. He also teased that the format could vary compared to last season, which we’re cool with, because this is a series that seems to thrive on reinvention:
“It’s not mirroring [the previous season] completely… The challenge of the show is every eight episodes, it’s a whole new show. I will say that there may be some slightly familiar structural turns. But for the most part, it is going to be brand new versions of the comic story.”
The fifth season of Walking Dead premieres this October on AMC. No word on when we’ll see the spinoff.