The Walking Dead chief content officer Scott Gimple is developing a project centered around a single person surviving in the zombie apocalypse. The untitled project is one of several new offshoots planned for The Walking Dead Universe, currently consisting of the ten-season TWD, spinoff Fear the Walking Dead, headed into its sixth season, the upcoming second spinoff centered around younger survivors and the movie trilogy led by Andrew Lincoln’s Rick Grimes. Plans for the budding universe include a diverse lineup of miniseries, short-form stories and other stand alone shows or specials.
“One of my favorite projects, one that’s sort of hovering around, is really about a person, a single person in the apocalypse,” Gimple told Deadline. “We don’t really see anyone else there because of the situation they’re in. Then you have a story that’s like Cast Away or Omega Man, I suppose.”
Audiences got a taste of single survivor life in Season 4, when we separately followed the lone Governor (David Morrissey) and Bob (Lawrence Gilliard Jr.) at different periods in their journeys. Survivors like Carol (Melissa McBride) and Morgan (Lennie James), who journeyed alone to Fear, also spent time existing separate from groups.
Limited run shorter length stories will stand alone, moving away from the three serialized Walking Dead shows. These projects, planned to be diverse in style and tone, are compared to an anthology like The Twilight Zone.
“The other thing we’re doing to achieve this differentiation and distinctness of storytelling I’m talking about is also starting to play around with the formats. How long a series is, for instance,” Gimple said. “We are pursuing specials as well, which are very short form. Some of that linking up [to established characters and situations] but some keeping to themselves by having their own distinct aspects.”
Gimple refers to these as “agnostic stories.”
“Those might feel more Twilight Zone-y, more anthological, whereas the more connected stuff might feel more like Star Wars in the shared, episodic mythology,” he explained. “Hopefully, we can achieve some of the cool things that all these universes do. It’s very exciting. It’s very kid in the candy store. You know, I’m such a fan of The Walking Dead comic book series — may it rest in power — that I kind of think of The Walking Dead as the biggest piece of fan fiction that there is. It keeps me honest.”
Though such projects could bring back characters who are long dead, TWDU is putting less of a focus on crossovers. When speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Gimple noted “not everything we put out is going to be connected to any of the existing shows.”1comments
“And further, some of it might not even need to go beyond a certain length. We do want to do these smaller things that are completely their own thing, and then do something else,” Gimple said. “Some stuff could be three episodes, some stuff could be six episodes, some stuff could be 12 or 16 [episodes].”
New episodes of The Walking Dead Season 10 premiere Sundays at 9/8c on AMC. For more TWD intel, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.