A “really big” announcement out of the budding Walking Dead universe is imminent, teased the brand’s Chief Content Officer Scott Gimple.
Appearing on live aftershow Talking Dead Sunday alongside Fear The Walking Dead showrunners Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg following the Fear Season Four finale, Gimple was asked by host Chris Hardwick about his new role as CCO — and teased a buzzworthy future development.
“I work on both shows. I help these gentlemen, I help [The Walking Dead showrunner] Angela Kang. We work on the stories together, I consult on the episodes as they go through, and producing,” Gimple said.
“And then beyond that, working on the future of The Walking Dead. And per that, we’re gonna have something to discuss. We’re gonna have a family meeting, all of the Walking Dead fans — people who haven’t watched the show, people who are going to watch the show — we’re gonna talk about something really big soon.”
Gimple, former five-season showrunner on the flagship series, has since taken a creative role on its revamped spinoff with Season Four as Angela Kang inherited boss duties on the upcoming ninth season of The Walking Dead.
In March, before the two series crossed over for the first time, he told THR he intended to continue to mine the universe and expand the brand through “traditional stuff, non-traditional stuff, stuff people don’t expect.”
“We have a bunch of different things in mind,” Gimple teased of the “cool new Walking Dead stuff” on the way. “Some things that are really complimentary to the stuff we're doing now and some stuff that's far afield and very different.”
Gimple didn’t rule out future short form digital fare like Flight 462 or the Emmy-nominated Red Machete, saying instead the creatives are open to exploring a wide variety of media to build up the Walking Dead world.
“I’m hoping to do a variety of different projects that are probably more in line with what we see on TV but maybe in different rhythms and formats and things like that,” he said. “We'll still continue to come out with great digital content but I'm excited about the kind of stuff we can do. But I really am talking about all sides of it and I know we'll have more to talk about soon on that.”
Gimple hopes to explore “different ways to tell stories, possibly with characters we know and possibly with characters we don’t.” The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman previously hinted those series could go international, far from the scope of Virginia or Texas in the television series.
AMC Networks CEO Josh Sapan has since declared the network’s intentions to expand the universe “over the next decade, plus,” a future that will take the form of multiple television shows and movies on either the small screen or the big screen.
Bloomberg reported last week AMC has had discussions with “several large media companies” about partnering on the projects, which would accumulate a collective cost to the tune of “several hundred million dollars.”
The Walking Dead star Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who plays Negan, told press during a Season Nine set visit he’s spent two years pushing Gimple to develop a movie centered around his bat-swinging bad guy, using Kirkman’s comic book origin miniseries Here’s Negan as inspiration.
Former co-star Austin Amelio, who played scarred Savior-turned-mole Dwight, expressed his hopes for a return to The Walking Dead universe earlier this month during a convention appearance, where he said he’s “f—king ready” to reprise the role after he was exiled by Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) at the end of the Savior war.
Other potential series could center around characters who have already died, according to Red Machete writer Nick Bernardone, who teased the mini-series format could be a means to give a focus to little-seen characters from either series.
“In the future, you can probably expect to see a little bit more connectivity to the show universe, if not the expanded show’s universe. I think folks want to see a bit more of folks that either have already passed on the show, or folks that we haven’t spent enough time with,” Bernardone told Deadline.
“As I believe Scott Gimple has teased in the past, we’re going to see more of these kinds of things and unique ways to tell stories that aren’t so strictly narrative-based.”
That could mean resurrection for fan-favorites like Glenn (Steven Yeun) or Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) — the latter of which had his pre-Walking Dead adventures teased in a well-placed Fear easter egg — who could return by way of prequels featuring their respective late characters.0comments
News of Walking Dead movies has also given rise to hushed suspicions longtime leading man Andrew Lincoln, who steps down from his role as Rick Grimes this year, could headline a theatrical outing as the character. Gimple has yet to reveal when he plans to unveil his next big announcement.
The Walking Dead Season Nine premieres Sunday, October 7 on AMC.