The Walking Dead Not Planning to End Within Next Two Seasons

Ending The Walking Dead within the next two seasons "isn't the plan," says executive producer Scott Gimple, former showrunner turned chief content officer for the Walking Dead brand. Despite unfounded rumors the zombie drama would be coming to an end with its twelfth season, which would see the mothership show air on AMC through the first quarter of 2022, Gimple plans for The Walking Dead to outlive its comic book counterpart that creator Robert Kirkman elected to end after 193 issues in July 2019. Even as The Walking Dead approaches what served as the final major storyline from the comic books, Gimple doesn't expect the main-line show to end at Season 12.

Gimple "can't quite imagine it," the producer told The Hollywood Reporter when asked if the high profile departures of Andrew Lincoln's Rick Grimes and Danai Gurira's Michonne signal the end of The Walking Dead. Wrapping up the show within the next two seasons "isn't the plan."

"But we are living in very weird times," he acknowledged, referring to the coronavirus pandemic impacting all three Walking Dead shows overseen by Gimple. "You have caught me in a moment where nothing feels real, so for all I know, it's going to become a puppet show next week. It'll be good, though. We'll have all the original actors using voices and they can do the puppetry from their own homes."

In 2017, Gimple said The Walking Dead could "go on and on and on," predicting on Larry King the main show would continue as it always has: by replacing killed off characters with new survivors. "I think if it went ten years... if it went longer than that it's possible that the cast, considering the amount of deaths on this cast and everything else, after ten or twelve years, it could shift into a whole new cast," he said.

More recently, Gimple told THR in October, "I think the creativity is there, the seeds are there, I'm very excited [to continue] … Can we take the creativity and the tone that Robert has and continue on with it? I believe so, yeah."

When The Walking Dead does exhaust its comic book source material, whether that be in Season 11 or 12, the show could call on unused ideas provided by Kirkman.

"For the show, I think we all think about, 'How do we get to that end point, when does that happen?'" showrunner Angela Kang previously told THR. "But also, the funny thing is, Robert was like — after he finished [the comic] — he was like, 'You see what I did there? You could go down this path, or this path, or this path, or this path, there's a story.' So I think that there's a lot of iterations that it could take for the story, and it's that way by design."

"Robert was done writing the comic, but that doesn't necessarily mean an end for the show in the same way that the comic ended," Kang added. "Because that's not even necessarily what he intended, so it's just an interesting thing for us."

Unlike the comic book, which ended without warning to mark the final surprise death of the series, Kirkman insists the end of The Walking Dead won't be a surprise.

"There's a lot more story to tell, and I'm very excited to be working with Scott and Angela to figure out if there are any other threads in the comic that we didn't quite get to, to bring the world past that point," Kirkman said during last year's San Diego Comic-Con. "Because I think there is some story to tell when you're talking about the world of The Walking Dead. So I'm very excited about that, so no worries there."


Beyond spinoffs Fear the Walking Dead and The Walking Dead: World Beyond, Gimple is developing the Walking Dead feature film trilogy as well as multiple miniseries, specials and other shorter length series set in the growing TWD Universe.

New episodes of The Walking Dead Season 10 premiere Sundays on AMC. For all things TWD, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.