The Walking Dead: World Beyond wrapped up its first season on Sunday night, marking the halfway point of its series as a whole. The 2-season, 20-episode saga is aiming to expand the Walking Dead universe with a final destination of a CRM facility, though it is one which fans should not expect to see Rick Grimes hanging out at. The Walking Dead chief content officer Scott Gimple set a proper expectation for fans when he ruled out an appearance by Andrew Lincoln in the spinoff series. However, as the series dives into its second half, showrunner Matt Negrete is excited about the horizons coming to World Beyond and added some additional perspective to Season 1 in an exclusive interview with ComicBook.com.
"We always were thinking of this two season aspect of the show as two very different feeling chapters of one complete book. That's one way I look at it," Negrete says. "For me, it's really about there's a lot that we want to get through in Season 2. I've been working with the writers and we're in the process of writing the finale, Episode 10 of Season 2 right now. So I mean, what we've discovered is that there are a lot of characters to service and we're bringing back Percy, played by Ted Sutherland, and Jelani, Jelani Alladin who is playing Will, and so we really have a lot of territory we're going to be mining and exploring up with those characters in the course of Season 2."
Before Season 1 came to an end, World Beyond truly picked up when it reveal Annet Mahendru's Huck was actually a soldier named Jennifer who happened to be the daughter of a prominent figure in the CRM. Elizabeth, a character responsible for slaughtering the campus where there rest of the character originated, is Huck's mother and Huck was undercover with this group the entire time.
"The thing I'll say is that it's a very complex relationship Jennifer has with Elizabeth," Negrete says. "It's this mother-daughter relationship and the thing we're trying to portray in those key scenes they have together is there's some baggage there. I refer to Elizabeth as the ultimate helicopter mom because literally, she's a helicopter mom. She's a mom in a helicopter, but also she's very protective of her daughter."
ComicBook.com: Congrats, man. I thought the end of the season was really interesting and it landed really well, so congratulations on completing the first season.
Matthew Negrete: Oh, cool. Thank you. Thank you for that.
CB: Let's jump in. First of all, now that all has seemingly been revealed about our main characters in a really interesting way, what kind of changes can we expect in season 2 in terms of pace and reveals and things like that?
MN: We always were thinking of this two season aspect of the show as two very different feeling chapters of one complete book. That's one way I look at it. For me, it's really about there's a lot that we want to get through in season 2. I've been working with the writers and we're in the process of writing the finale, episode 10 of season 2 right now. So I mean, what we've discovered is that there are a lot of characters to service and we're bringing back Percy, played by Ted Sutherland, and Jelani, Jelani Alladin who is playing Will, and so we really have a lot of territory we're going to be mining and exploring up with those characters in the course of season 2.
I think for the characters, it's about them learning about themselves. I think there's a lot more for us to discover about these characters in terms of how they're going to face these challenges. We've gone from these smaller stories of them playing monopoly to Treehouse, and that's going to be very different. We're not going to be seeing some things necessarily that intimate in season two. I think the scope's going to be a lot bigger and they're going to be wrestling with the fate of much bigger things. Let's put it like that, in season 2.
So yeah, the characters are evolving just like I think the show is going to be evolving up until the end.prevnext
CB: It was announced before the show began that it was a two-season run. With this year, so many things changing and also the announcement of the main show coming to an end in 2022 came out, has any of this made any changes to what your plans might've been? Has the ending, the final destination for World Beyond stayed the same?
MN: Yeah. In terms of the major sort of Walking Dead universe questions, I'll definitely defer to Scott [Gimple] on those, but I'll say that none of that is really effected on what we've been doing here on World Beyond. We broke these two seasons, this large story that we're telling in 20 episodes with an ending in mind, and we're still working to that ending. It's one of those things where along the way, you find little things that are little detours in different directions than what you'd expected, but for the most part, yeah, we're sticking to the plan we started with.
So again, it's all been really exciting stuff and I'm excited for people to check it out.
CB: You mentioned a lot of larger Walking Dead questions are for Scott, but I do know he's a big Lost fan. I'm a huge Lost fan as well. I thought it was really fun to see as the season went on, it dove deeper and deeper into single character flashbacks with these episodes that inform us to where they're at and why they're where they're at in the current timeline. Was that an intentional format that is an ode to Lost in any way?
MN: Yeah. It wasn't designed specifically to be an ode to Lost, but I was also a huge fan of that show as well. I think the comparisons are inevitable, but even in the writer's room, we talked about some of those flashbacks in Lost, some of those great stories. For us in Season 1, it was using them to really delve into the characters and we really wanted to spend this season having the audience get to know these characters and what they went through the night the sky fell and before and after, and really telling a complete story of where these characters had been and where they are in their present. I think for us for Season 2 now, it's about where these characters are going. Yeah, I'd be lying if I said that Lost wasn't an influence, but I will say that in Season 2, we're really charting our own course in a number of ways.prevnext
CB: I thought Felix was one of the most interesting characters on the show. I thought Nico Tortorella did such a tremendous job. Felix has experienced so much loss and so many hard times, even before things were terrible, but this is... I'll go back to Lost. I call this the Jack Shephard complex, the constantly needing to fix things and take care of people.
CB: But in the finale, Felix finally lets that go for the first time when he lets Hope and Huck go continue on the journey without Felix and Iris. Is that a change that we should notice? Does that mark any kind of crossroads for Felix as a character?
MN: Yeah. He definitely had a interesting arc in Season 1, which is, yeah, he did let go of that need to step up and be the protector. But at the same time, we also saw the rug get pulled out from underneath him with Huck, who was his best friend. He had a long history of keeping emotional distance from people based on when he went through with his own parents and his own family. This is a huge betrayal. Essentially, Huck tried to kill him. His best friend tried to kill him, and that can't not change you as well.
I think all of these things are events that are going to be weighing on him as we kick off season 2. Also, something else to throw in the mix there is that he's been reunited with his boyfriend, Will. That's also going to play in his trajectory for season 2. So yeah, he's got a lot going on and a lot to work through as we're moving forward into these future episodes.
CB: I love how you guys just threw an apparently major character at us at the end there with Will. I'm looking forward to getting to know Will.
MN: Oh yeah, right?prevnext
Huck / Jennifers's Family and Elizabeth
CB: Huck aka Jennifer's relationship to Elizabeth, that's a very interesting reveal late in the season. What role does that relationship and maybe the obligation that comes to family play for Jennifer/Huck going forward? And is there more to this family who might also play important roles?
MN: Oh yeah. Those are good questions. Yeah. The thing I'll say is that it's a very complex relationship Jennifer has with Elizabeth. It's this mother-daughter relationship and the thing we're trying to portray in those key scenes they have together is there's some baggage there. I refer to Elizabeth as the ultimate helicopter mom because literally, she's a helicopter mom. She's a mom in a helicopter, but also she's very protective of her daughter.
In one sense, she's willing to let her daughter... Not let her die, but she's willing to let her daughter take that risk of doing something very risky, but at the same time, she's very protective. We see her defending her daughter to that other CRM officer who's with her at the end of episode 8, and she wants her daughter to succeed very much. At the same time, we also see that she's not probably told her daughter the entire story of what happened back home. These are all things that we're going to be unraveling in season 2, but yeah, it's a very complex relationship that we're going to be exploring.prevnext
Next Stop: Rick Grimes
CB: Season 2 will be the final season for the show. There have been descriptions of the show as being sort of like a lead into the Rick movies. As World Beyond does near that end and TWD also nears its end, how much intersection between the stories or familiar faces or just growth with CRM can we see? Can characters like Heath, or Jadis, or Rick, or even characters from Fear show up at any point?
MN: Yeah. The thing I've been saying about that is never say never. Obviously, I don't want to spoil anything, but the thing I'll say is that it really is going to be an expansion of the world. We're going to be seeing a lot more of a CRM, parts of the CRM you've never even hinted at. We'll get a glimpse, or probably actually more than a glimpse, into how they operate, what their modus operandi is.
We're going to be spending some time at the facility where the girls' father has been and we're going to be more immersed in that world. We just hinted at it and teased it a bit in season 1, but season 2 is really stepping off the diving board and diving into it full hog, so to speak. There's definitely a lot of cool things that we're going to be exploring that's all related to the CRM and the larger universe.
CB: My last thing for you then is does this, as far as you know, lead straight to fans discovering where Rick is and do you know where Rick is?
MN: I do know. Yeah. There have been discussions about that and yeah, obviously, Rick's been gone for a long time. Walking Dead had that big six year time jump. So yeah. I can only imagine that he's probably gone through some stuff in that time, but yeah, the specifics of Rick I'll definitely leave to Scott to answer.
MN: But yeah. But we will be delving into the larger Civic Republic world a bit more and yeah, we'll see what happens beyond that.
CB: When do you guys pick up filming again?
MN: We are hoping to start early 2021.0comments
We were lucky that... Yeah, we were lucky that we wrapped production before all this hit and we were almost done with post when all this hit, so it really just affected our air dates, which obviously got pushed.
But yeah, we're looking forward to getting everybody back on set and seeing people in person again.prev