The Walking Dead Universe will expand with other "mythologies" beyond CRM, the shadowy organization connecting The Walking Dead and spinoffs Fear the Walking Dead and The Walking Dead: World Beyond. This mysterious group, whose initials are so far unexplained, was ultimately responsible for the disappearance of Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) months after video journalist Althea (Maggie Grace) attempted to unravel a far-reaching conspiracy in Fear Season 5. Beyond CRM, the interconnected universe already includes Ginny (Colby Minifie) and her Pioneers, an expansive group overseeing multiple western settlements in Fear, as well as the unnamed group counting Georgie (Jayne Atkinson) and Hilltop colony leader Maggie Rhee (Lauren Cohan) as members in the mothership series.
The main show is expected to soon introduce another massive community from the comic books known as the Commonwealth, a network of settlements home to more than 50,000 survivors. TWD chief content officer Scott Gimple previously confirmed CRM and the Commonwealth are separate entities, but are the Pioneers related to CRM?
"They are not. That’s an example, like when we talk about the Commonwealth, when we talk about Ginny — that is a rich and interesting story, and it’s big," Gimple told EW. "We can have World Beyond touch upon it and actually sort of be living in it, and yet it still has this very, very different life in the movies because obviously Rick was on one of those helicopters."
The CRM story unfurled over multiple seasons of the mothership series, culminating in Rick's disappearance from Virginia in Season 9 Episode 5, "What Comes After." That plot thread will continue in the planned movie trilogy centered around Rick, who has been missing for six-plus years.
"However big that story is, we don’t want that to be the story of The Walking Dead," Gimple said. "I think that stuff is going to be super cool and people are going to dig it, but The Walking Dead is The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead is Fear the Walking Dead."
He added, "It’s not like they might not touch upon it again, but it’s super important that they have their own stories. We are developing other mythologies like the CRM mythology within this universe, and this is sort of the first mythology, but there’s going to be more."
When Gimple first announced the movie trilogy in November 2018, he said the movie side of the franchise would explore the "vast mythology" behind CRM, a group we now know receives a central focus in World Beyond.
Addressing the three-circle symbol spotted on CRM helicopters and other materials in both The Walking Dead and Fear, Gimple in October revealed those three circles "represent three different civilizations that are bound and entwined in some ways and in some ways very, very different." One of those civilizations is the setting for World Beyond, taking place during the same time frame as TWD Season 10: roughly a decade into the apocalypse.
The next mythology, the Commonwealth, is expected to be unveiled in the back half of TWD Season 10. Using innards collected from a downed Soviet satellite, Eugene (Josh McDermitt) established radio contact with a survivor from an outside community who — spoilers — is revealed in the comic books to be Stephanie, a spokesperson for the Commonwealth.
Season 10 will also introduce Juanita Sanchez (Paola Lazaro), a.k.a. "Princess," a character whose entrance is tied to the Commonwealth era in the books.
The Walking Dead Season 10 returns with new episodes Feb. 23 on AMC. For more TWD intel, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.