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The latest spinoff series in The Walking Dead universe has wrapped its first season, and though The World Beyond didn’t hold any world-shattering reveals about the franchise’s larger mythology in its finale, it did move some pieces into place for its endgame in Year 2. So what can finds expect when the limited series returns in 2021? Reunions, twists and… hopefully some answers.
Showrunner Matthew Negrete and franchise architect Scott Gimple chatted with Entertainment Weekly and The Hollywood Reporter in the wake of the series’ season finale on Sunday, digging into the events and teasing what’ll come next. But first up, a quick recap: The episode ended with the disparate group of survivors largely fractured. Hope agrees to go with Huck to the CRM base to join her father; Elton and Percy are off on their own; Silas has turned himself into CRM forces; and Iris and Felix have joined forces with a mysterious group of survivors hiding out in the mist.
All that splintering represents opportunities to move some pieces around and answer some questions, Gimple told EW, as they’re all set to cross paths with CRM forces in unique ways.
“I've just tonally been thinking about Season 2 as Chapter 2 of a two-chapter book. But the second chapter, I think, is going to feel much different. I think in this world, when you're the age of our characters, you're forced to grow up very quickly and forced to make these decisions that define who you are and who you're going to become. And I really think that they're on their way. I think Season 1 was a journey in that respect emotionally, and they've still got some big things to face,” he explained. “It's like they've traveled a distance and now they're all in New York, in one area or another. Push has to come to shove now. They're on the CRMs doorstep in a lot of ways. And the CRM, in a lot of ways, has brought the fight to them. And now I think that the role's been reversed. And now that they realize who Huck is, they know more about what they're up against.”
In speaking with THR, Negrete added he’s been impressed with the performance of the young cast throughout the first season, bringing an untold corner of this well-known universe to life. But now that they’ve laid the ground work in Season 1, he plans to dig deeper into the story — and mythology (answers, please!) — when the show wraps up its two-season run next year.
“As writers, we're always trying to see what the actors are bringing to the characters, and write to that. I haven't spent a lot of time online. I appreciate the fans for being engaged and having strong opinions about the universe,” he said. “I think that's what all engaged fans should have. But I'll say this: the show was always designed to evolve. It was always going to start with simpler stories and have the stakes grow and grow. Going into Season 2, it's really about continuing that evolution and amping up the stakes, providing answers to some questions still lingering at the end of Season 1, and going forth from there.”
The Walking Dead: World Beyond wrapped its first season Sunday night on AMC. The series returns for its second and final season in 2021.