The Walking Dead could feature major time jump next season

Contributed by
Apr 6, 2017, 10:32 AM EDT

Comic readers already have an inkling of what could be coming down the line on The Walking Dead, but looking beyond the “All Out War” arc, showrunner Scott Gimple revealed they could follow suit on one of the comic’s most controversial decisions.

Minor spoilers ahead!

In issue 127 of the comic, fresh off the “All Out War” storyline, the world of The Walking Dead jumped forward a couple of years. Rick is using a cane, humanity is thriving (as much as it can in a post-apocalypse), and there’s a transportation and security infrastructure between the Hilltop, the Kingdom and the Alexandria Safe Zone. Then it all goes sideways with the new enemy The Whisperers, of course (because peace isn’t all that interesting). 

But, the big question: Will the TV series feature the same type of time jump? Gimple said they’re obviously mapping that out now, noting it could feature into the story with a “remix” that fits the TV universe. Or heck, maybe they’ll do a season filling in that missing time, showing how Rick and the gang built that working world. Best guess? A bit of both. 

Here’s an excerpt from what Gimple told The Hollywood Reporter:

"For the people who read the comics, they're going to be expecting this. We’re doing the book, we do all sorts of variations on it, and then we do things that are inspired by it and then we change things up with a remix. But I will say there are things that happen in that time jump that are referred to that are super interesting. And thus we might see some of that stuff; it might not be the same sort of jump, or we'll do that two to five years in real time…

I've had a general plan for a long time, and invariably when I do that, there are little things that catch and change that plan. But in general, I think there's going to be a little bit more content that Robert actually refers to. There's stuff in there that I was reading that I wondered about, and when I wonder about stuff that I like, I like getting into that stuff [on the show]. We're definitely going to honor it and do it, but we're definitely going to have either more of it or possibly do it in a different way.”

This show is no stranger to experimenting with storytelling styles, so best guess is that Gimple might use a mini-arc to fill in the time between “All Out War” and the time jump, then move forward to eventually get to the Whisperers conflict. But, there’s a whole lot of story to tell before then. Remember how much time they spent on the battle with the Governor? Well, “All Out War” with the Saviors is far more ambitious than that. 

The war could take all of Season 8 (with a jump after the finale), and possibly even Season 9, so Gimple has more than enough time to get it figured out. Which, if the ratings keep sliding, the show might not make it far enough to have to worry about it.

(Via The Hollywood Reporter)