The Walking Dead: World Beyond star Julia Ormond, who plays pragmatic civilization leader Elizabeth, says the younger-skewing spinoff has an “OK, boomers” vibe. The Scott Gimple and Matthew Negrete-created show tells the story of the first generation raised after the fall of civilization, taking place a decade post-outbreak and centering on teens Hope (Alexa Mansour), Iris (Aliyah Royale), Elton (Nicolas Cantu), and Silas (Hal Cumpston). They're joined by the watchful Felix (Nico Tortorella) and Huck (Annet Mahendru), both acting as protectors of the younger survivors who leave a place of relative comfort and safety when they embark on a dangerous quest into the world beyond.
“What I love about World Beyond is that it starts with a younger group and people who were really young when this all started,” Ormond told the AMC Blog. “For them, it’s like ‘OK, boomers. You guys messed up. It’s up to us to save the world.’ It’s definitely got that vibe.”
Because Ormond’s Elizabeth is seen bearing the same three-circle symbol representing CRM — the mysterious organization linking the three existing Walking Dead shows — ComicBook.com speculated Elizabeth could be tied to the disappearance of Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), who next returns in a movie trilogy exploring what Gimple called the “vast mythology” behind the far-reaching organization.
In Fear the Walking Dead, CRM soldier Isabelle (Sydney Lemmon) disclosed the military-like organization is out to restore the world, revealing CRM’s mission is “about the future and rebuilding what we all once had.” Because Elizabeth is the head of one of three major civilizations in TWD Universe, Ormond's character has a key role to play.
“In World Beyond, the character I’m playing is a leader of a formidable society. It’s an extension of the other worlds we’ve seen, but she’s another kind of community leader,” Ormond said. “I went into an actor panic because there have been so many great leadership roles. [Laughs] Andrew Lincoln, Lennie James… just such strong characters that have lent different sides of what my responsibility is.”
She continued, “I think she’s more in the pragmatic zone. For me, the pragmatism that some of the characters have is really about devoting yourself to the future of the human race — not even the planet. The planet is going to survive, but it’s the human race that’s at risk. What role do you take? What tactics do you sign up for? At some point, the buck has to stop somewhere.”
Aside from its younger perspective, World Beyond “is a chance to go through the journey again and start at a level with new characters.”
“I think it’s successful when you can start again with a new version and keep the journey going with new people,” Ormond added. “I thought Nick (Frank Dillane), in Fear the Walking Dead, was so brilliantly done. He had this strange kind of nonthreatening innocence to his character. His life is so chaotic in the pre-apocalyptic world that he sees it differently as everyone else gets thrown into chaos. He’s got a skill set in a different way. I’m most excited for how people will respond to this new set of young people and what they bring to this.”