The official Walking Dead AMC Twitter account teased its upcoming New York Comic Con panel, "The Walking Dead Universe," exploring the cabler's shared universe of all things Dead ahead of the Season 10 premiere of The Walking Dead.
AMC and TWD chief content officer Scott Gimple first coined the name nearly a year ago when announcing Rick Grimes star Andrew Lincoln, who was written off the flagship series in Season 9, will reprise his role in the franchise's first movie trilogy. TWD Universe now encompasses both shows, TWD and spinoff Fear the Walking Dead, their respective short-form series, the coming movie trilogy and the untitled third series co-created by Gimple and TWD veteran Matthew Negrete.
In March, Gimple promised a "bananas" 2020 in celebration of TWD's 10th anniversary on screen.
"We're working on a number of things right now, they're getting very close," Gimple said on Talking Dead. "We're gonna have a steady flow of announcements through the rest of the year, and then 2020 is gonna be bananas."
During a later appearance at WonderCon, Gimple teased 2020 marks a "really big year for the universe and the shows."
"I guess it's the beginning of our next decade, so we're trying to kick it off in style," he said. "But it looks like 2020 is an exciting year."
AMC's 2020 plans include the debut of its second TWD spinoff, set for a spring premiere, as well as the airing of the second half of TWD Season 10 — the final season for Michonne star Danai Gurira — and the arrival of the reinvented sixth season of Fear. Next year might also see the arrival of the untitled Rick Grimes movies as AMC anticipated a 2019 production start when announcing their movie plans last November.
Speaking to ComicBook.com at the carpet premiere of TWD Season 10, Gimple promised anxious fans will soon learn more of the network's plans for TWDU.
"I hate giving this answer because it drives people nuts, but we're close to telling more soon," Gimple said, adding those involved have been "working really, really hard."
Big reveals will come during NYCC. Last year, it was there TWD showrunner Angela Kang announced the Season 9 returns of former series stars Jon Bernthal, Sonequa Martin-Green and Scott Wilson to their respective roles.
In his position as CCO, Gimple is focused on connecting and expanding TWDU in ways that are unprecedented for the franchise. Following the first-ever crossover between TWD and Fear — adding Morgan (Lennie James) before further linking the spinoff to both its sister show and the coming movie trilogy with ties to the organization responsible for Rick's disappearance — the former TWD showrunner wants each corner of the universe to maintain a unique identity.0comments
"You see opportunities to tie things between the shows and within the universe. You also are like, 'Whoa, look out, they're doing this on the other show, so you might want to back off of that.' You're also looking for differentiation, and telling really different stories, and the shows take different types of chances, and I think it allows for a varied universe," Gimple told Comic Book. "I think that if somebody watches the other Walking Dead shows and expect it to be exactly like The Walking Dead, that's not going to happen. The Walking Dead is The Walking Dead. They're the anchor and the other shows provide different things, different stories, different perspectives."
TWD Universe brings its panel and exclusive advance screening of TWD Season 10 premiere, "Lines We Cross," to NYCC Saturday, Oct. 5. The Walking Dead Season 10 premieres Sunday, Oct. 6 at 9/8c on AMC. For more TWD intel, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.