The Walking Dead chief content officer Scott Gimple has explained the meaning behind the three-circle symbol associated with CRM, the shadowy organization who abducted Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), and now clues surfaced in the first trailer for the third TWD series could reveal answers behind the meaning of "CRM."
"We've seen that three-circle symbol... those three circles, and I'm saying it here, represent three different civilizations that are bound and entwined in some ways and in some ways very, very different," Gimple said at New York Comic Con, adding the setting of TWD3 is "one of those places."
That three-circle symbol representing the three civilizations is a hint each of the three letters comprising "CRM" are borrowed from the names of those three civilizations.
In Fear the Walking Dead Season 5, CRM soldier Isabelle (Sydney Lemmon) revealed CRM is a top-secret and far-reaching organization comprised of "a force who are not living for ourselves or for now." A tight-lipped Isabelle could only say CRM's true purpose is "about the future and rebuilding what we all once had," before the zombie apocalypse that is nearing its tenth year in TWD3.
The untitled spinoff, filmed under working title "Monument," reveals a community home to 9,671 people, including Iris (Aliyah Royale). In the trailer, Iris gives a speech from a lectern bearing a symbol for Nebraska State University — telling us this first civilization's setting — where she says, "It's called Monument Day because we're all monuments to the past."
TWD3's working title could be a hint this campus-based community is called "Monument," which could be the "M" in "CRM." The "C" could represent the Commonwealth, a sprawling network of 50,000-something survivors interspersed throughout different settlements in creator Robert Kirkman's comic books.
The Ohio community, which has yet to appear in either Walking Dead series, is a society similar to TWD3's NSU campus. There's a sense of normalcy in the Commonwealth, home to everything from court rooms and cafes to a football stadium that doubles as a concert venue.
TWD Season 9 hinted at the Commonwealth in the form of an Easter egg. Showrunner Angela Kang later said it was a nod towards future stories that would further expand the world.
"Obviously the Commonwealth does mean things to people; we're starting to seed in some future stories," Kang previously told IGN. "The timing of those stories may not be in the immediate future, but there will be things this season that are groundwork being laid for finding out more about the world."
If Commonwealth and Monument are two of the three civilizations represented in CRM, the "R" remains a mystery.
The last remaining civilization could be one operated by Texas-based Pioneer leader Ginny (Colby Minifie), who has denied ties to CRM but is similarly building for the future. Fear revealed Virginia oversees multiple colonies home to nearly 2,000 survivors, including the Paradise Ridge apartment complex, and other currently unidentified settlements throughout Texas. This storyline gets a major focus in Fear Season 6, due out in 2020.
Alternatively, this third civilization could be the one overseen by mysterious benefactor Georgie (Jayne Atkinson), who recruited Hilltop colony leader Maggie Rhee (Lauren Cohan) to assist her with another unidentified community someplace far from Virginia. Like Ginny and Isabelle, Georgie says she's working to build "a future from our past."
Yet another possibility is a civilization located in Philadelphia, which appears to be where the missing Rick was taken by Anne (Pollyanna McIntosh) aboard a CRM helicopter before a six-year time jump pushed present action in TWD Season 10 into a decade post-apocalypse — aligning it with TWD3's timeline.
Gimple has already confirmed the first Walking Dead movie, following Rick after his disappearance from Virginia, will unravel the "vast mythology" behind CRM.
TWD Season 10 premieres on AMC Sunday, Oct. 6, ahead of the Spring 2020 premiere of TWD3. The Rick Grimes movies, set for theatrical release under Universal Pictures, have yet to announce a release date. For more TWD intel, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.