AMC’s plan to expand The Walking Dead into a bigger connected universe of standalone movies and spinoff series may soon be taking its first steps, thanks to a new story thread coming when Fear the Walking Dead returns this summer for its fifth season.
Ahead of the Season 9 finale of The Walking Dead, executive producer Scott Gimple showed up on the Talking Dead aftershow to tease how FTWD will serve as the incubator for whatever crossover ideas AMC and Robert Kirkman have been dreaming up.
“[W]hat I will say is Fear the Walking Dead is coming up in June, and there is a story in the first half of the season that has to do with one of these greater stories of the universe that will bring in some of the things that all of you guys have seen before, and it will expand it out just a little bit more — and then we’ll have an announcement,” Gimple said.
While Gimple remained tight-lipped about where a new story might set its sights, the two most high-profile pieces of the puzzle that still appear to be in play are, of course, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan).
Rick in particular seems like a no-brainer of a choice. AMC already has outlined its plan for a Grimes-centered movie trilogy that explores what happened after Jade swept him away in that helicopter. And, via We Got This Covered, Kirkman has been stoking the speculation even further, reportedly mentioning in the "Hack Notes" column of The Walking Dead comic last month that the creators are getting “deeper into development on this Rick Grimes TV movie.”
Both AMC and Cohan continue to hint that Maggie also could return to the franchise, if not the main series. So far, there's been no announcement that clearly ties her to a specific project — although a movie could be in the cards.
With Daniel coming back and the walkers more dangerous than they’ve ever been, Fear the Walking Dead has a Texas-sized story of its own to tell when the new episodes arrive. You can catch the premiere when FTWD returns for its fifth Season June 2 on AMC.