The Walking Dead chief content officer Scott Gimple addresses the "weird moment of pause" impacting the entertainment industry brought to a standstill by the coronavirus pandemic, including the productions of all three Walking Dead shows overseen by Gimple. Because of COVID-19, AMC was forced to push back physical production on The Walking Dead Season 11 and put a month-long pause on filming of Season 6 of companion series Fear the Walking Dead. The first series co-created by Gimple, The Walking Dead: World Beyond, long planned to premiere after The Walking Dead Season 10 finale on April 12, also had its debut date pushed when AMC delayed the series until later this year.
"Every day is like a year as far as information goes," Gimple told The Hollywood Reporter. "Even the pause plan we had last week, we're just monitoring everything with the advice from government, and even stronger than advice in most cases, to make sure everyone is healthy and safe."
"Like everyone else, once we're given the all clear, we're ready to roar back. Just like with everybody else, it's this weird moment of pause," Gimple continued. "There are so many people who work on these shows. Between the three shows, we're talking about [numbering] in the thousands. We want everyone safe and healthy. That's the deal. We all have to pull together to make sure everyone is safe and healthy."
Gimple then noted writing hasn't paused on any of the three shows.
"All the shows are in some degree or another of writing. Fear the Walking Dead didn't have a ton of writing left, but a good amount of it. We're cooking on [writing The Walking Dead] Season 11," he said. "People were starting to peel off and write their scripts, and that's moving along. Post can work remotely to a degree. There's a good amount of work on all of the shows that needed to be done in rooms, and we're still doing that, just not together."
While it remains to be seen how the delay of physical production on Season 11 of The Walking Dead might impact its expected October premiere date, much of the development on the season is continuing remotely under the watchful eye of showrunner Angela Kang.
After a scheduled episode of Talking Dead was cancelled due to coronavirus concerns, the Chris Hardwick-hosted aftershow went dark for a week before returning Sunday with a special video chat edition featuring guests Gimple, Yvette Nicole Brown and Michonne star Danai Gurira over webcam.
Gimple quipped the Walking Dead Universe could switch to puppets in the name of safety before noting AMC will continue to adapt to the situation.
"We are living in very weird times. 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," Gimple joked. "It'll be good, though. We'll have all the original actors using voices and they can do the puppetry from their own homes."
More seriously, he said, "We're kicking around some ideas to try and have some Walking Dead supportive fun for people stuck at home, to help keep people's spirits up. Hopefully we'll have more news about that soon."