A viral tweet comparing The Walking Dead at the beginning and end of the decade shows how much has changed since the October 2010 premiere of the zombie drama. Using a meme format proving popular on social media — where users compare someone or something at the start and end of the decade side-by-side — Twitter user @EthanCorby shows the differences between The Walking Dead's first trip to San Diego Comic-Con in 2010 versus the current cast, who made the annual trip back to San Diego in July ahead of Season 10.
Pictured on the left: special effects makeup guru-turned-executive producer and director Greg Nicotero, Jon Bernthal (Shane), Laurie Holden (Andrea), original showrunner Frank Darabont, Emma Bell (Amy), executive producer Denise Huth, executive producer Gale Anne Hurd, Andrew Lincoln (Rick Grimes), Sarah Wayne Callies (Lori Grimes), and TWD creator Robert Kirkman.
On the right: Huth, Nadia Hilker (Magna), Cooper Andrews (Jerry), Eleanor Matsuura (Yumiko), Ryan Hurst (Beta), Hurd, Melissa McBride (Carol), showrunner Angela Kang, Cailey Fleming (Judith Grimes), Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Negan), Norman Reedus (Daryl) and Avi Nash (Siddiq).
In the almost ten years since its premiere, The Walking Dead has emerged as network AMC's flagship franchise: the show has grown so big there will be content from TWD Universe airing for an unprecedented 42 Sundays in 2020. But Bernthal — whose Shane Walsh was killed off in the penultimate episode of Season 2 — says the network once viewed The Walking Dead like “the wart on their ass.”
“Walking Dead, for me, is probably real different than the folks that are on it now. When we did Walking Dead, there were no trailers, there were no craft services. We would just hike out into the woods, it was very humble,” Bernthal said at Fandemic Tour Houston in October. “Nobody thought the show was gonna be what the show was. We got picked up for six episodes, that is not a big vote of confidence. It was a zombie show, and if that thing sucks, it’s gonna really suck. At that point AMC was the network of Mad Men and Breaking Bad, and they didn’t want anybody messing with their prestige television. And we were kind of, I think at first, sort of treated like the wart on their ass.”
Now entering its second decade, The Walking Dead is poised for a “really big” 2020, according to former showrunner turned TWD chief content officer Scott Gimple.
“Right now, 2020 is looking like a really big year for the universe and the shows,” Gimple said at WonderCon earlier in 2019. “I guess it’s the beginning of our next decade, so we’re trying to kick it off in style. But it looks like 2020 is an exciting year.”
2020 will bring the second half of TWD Season 10 — including an exit for eight-season veteran Michonne star Danai Gurira — and Season 11 will launch in October with Maggie star Lauren Cohan back as a series regular.0comments
Spinoff Fear the Walking Dead will enter its sixth season and AMC will launch its second spinoff, The Walking Dead: World Beyond, premiering in the spring. Gimple is now developing the first Walking Dead movies — a planned trilogy centered around Lincoln's Rick — as well as an undetermined number of miniseries, specials and other shorter length series further expanding TWD Universe.