"Biters," "creeper," "geek," "lame-brains": all names used by survivors of The Walking Dead Universe to describe the reanimated and flesh-hungry undead, most famously referred to as "walkers" in the mothership series. In AMC's untitled third Walking Dead series, the spinoff's core cast of characters have their own name for walkers — one borrowed from franchise creator Robert Kirkman's comic books.
Appearing as part of the series' New York Comic Con panel Saturday, star Aliyah Royale, who plays Iris, noted TWD3 calls its walkers "empties." This term was first used by Paul "Jesus" Monroe in The Walking Dead issue #92, during his first encounter with Michonne and Abraham Ford after a close call in an abandoned car.
The series' first trailer, premiered Saturday during TWD Universe's NYCC panel that covered all three TWD shows, revealed TWD3 is set in Nebraska. The community depicted in this series is one of three major civilizations comprising CRM, whose three-circle symbol has already appeared on both The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead.
Set nearly a decade into the zombie outbreak, TWD3 follows the first generation raised after the outbreak who grew up in a place of safety. Despite the dangers posed by the outside world, Hope (Alexa Mansour), Iris (Royale), Elton (Nicolas Cantu) and Silas (Hal Cumpston) set out on a journey that promises to change them all — for better or worse.
"They are kids that grew up in a place of safety. They've grown up in the apocalypse," TWD chief content officer and series co-creator Scott Gimple said at New York Comic Con. "They've been aware of walkers but they haven't really been interacting with them. They've been behind walls. That makes any journey that they made need to make incredibly dangerous... They don't remember much of a world without walkers."
"This is the normal world to them, and yet they've been apart from it," he continued, adding there's a "quest aspect" to this third series.
The Walking Dead veteran Matthew Negrete co-created the still untitled series and will serve as showrunner. Former TWD star Michael Cudlitz was recently revealed as a director on the 10-episode first season.
Some will become heroes. Some will become villains. In the end, all of them will be changed forever. Grown-up and cemented in their identities, both good and bad.
TWD3 premieres on AMC in Spring 2020. The Walking Dead Season 10 premieres Sunday, Oct. 6 at 9/8c on AMC. For more TWD intel, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.