The ‘Walking Dead’ Universe to Bring Back Dead Characters in Future Short-Form Projects

The Walking Dead: Red Machete director Avi Youabian and writer Nick Bernardone say there are plans to explore more parts of the Walking Dead universe beyond the flagship television series and spinoff Fear The Walking Dead, including future short-form series that could see the return of little-seen or dead characters.

“Having done some short-form stuff in the past with 30 Rock and a couple other things, it’s always enjoyable to be able to expand on what the show’s already been able to do,” Bernardone told Deadline.

“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. As I believe [Walking Dead chief content officer] 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.”

“I love what those Telltale video games do, for example,” he added, “where you’re essentially crafting your own narrative based on choices. I think we’re going to continue to see new ways of telling stories within the same universe.”

“The one thing I would add is I would love to see more cross-over narrative from mothership shows—not just Walking Dead, but seeing more backstories for characters on these digital series,” added Youabian, whose six-part mini-series aired in-between commercials during The Walking Dead season 8.

“I know there are people who would love to see more of those stories being told, and sometimes you just don’t have the real estate to do it on the air —time to expand on characters that are maybe not the A story, but more like B- or C-story characters. I know the fans of the universe would get a kick out of that.”

The Red Machete told the origin of the red-handled murder tool that would eventually make its way into the hands of Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), which he would use to brutally murder Terminus leader Gareth (Andrew J. West) in The Walking Dead season 5.

The mini-series also saw the return of the now-dead Joe (Jeff Kober) — leader of the Claimers — encountered after Red Machete by Rick, Daryl (Norman Reedus), Michonne (Danai Gurira) and Carl (Chandler Riggs) in The Walking Dead season 4.

In March, it was learned Gimple, newly elevated to the position of chief content officer overseeing the entire Walking Dead brand for AMC, was planning future spinoffs and other means of extending the brand across a variety of platforms.

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The plan, Gimple told THR, was to expand the universe through “traditional stuff, non-traditional stuff, stuff people don’t expect.”

Fear The Walking Dead returns with its season 4 mid-season premiere Sunday, August 12 on AMC. The Walking Dead debuts its season 9 premiere this fall.