Isle of the Dead Producer Previews Maggie and Negan's Walking Dead Spinoff

Maggie and Negan's rivalry lives on in Isle of the Dead, AMC's New York-set series spinning out of The Walking Dead. In March, the network announced it had greenlit the Cohan and Morgan co-led spinoff as the fifth series set within the Walker Apocalypse of AMC's Walking Dead Universe. Eli Jorné, a writer and co-executive producer on multiple seasons of the flagship show ending this year, created Isle as part of an overall deal with AMC Studios and will serve as showrunner. Walking Dead Universe Chief Content Officer Scott M. Gimple is overseeing the series and serving as executive producer alongside Jorné, Cohan, and Morgan. 

"They kill the last eight episodes of The Walking Dead. Maggie and Negan's story in the last eight episodes of The Walking Dead is incredible," Gimple said of Cohan and Morgan Sunday during Talking Dead: The Walking Dead Universe Preview 2022 special. "And it set the bar for us to try to top it with [Isle of the Dead]." 

In the six-episode first season of Isle of the Dead, Maggie and Negan travel into a post-apocalyptic Manhattan long ago cut off from the mainland. The city is filled with the dead and denizens who have made New York City their own world full of anarchy, danger, beauty, and terror.

More than a decade into the Walker Apocalypse, Isle is set in a "crumbling and chaotic" New York City with its own cultures and warring factions, Gimple revealed.

"It's a madhouse, and [Maggie and Negan] enter it and get swept up into the madhouse," Gimple teased. "There's a lot of conflict. There's a lot of action. There are zip lines, the walkers are insane. The rats in that city are insane. Eli Jorné is the showrunner, and they're doing incredible work over there right now." 

On Variety's Strictly Business podcast, Dan McDermott, president of entertainment and AMC Studios for AMC Networks, revealed how Isle would be unlike anything seen before on The Walking Dead

"It's going to take place on the island of Manhattan, which was left to the walkers 12 years ago when they overran Manhattan. The government decided to blow all the bridges and tunnels and just leave the island to the walkers. And it's now 12 years later," McDermott said. "There's a million-walker herd that's sort of dominating the streets of Manhattan… Maggie and Negan have to journey onto the island, where there's a small civilian [faction] that lives in Manhattan ... above the 10th floor of all the buildings, and they zipline back and forth above the streets." 

Joining Cohan and Morgan are previously announced cast members Gaius Charles (Friday Night Lights, Grey's Anatomy) as Perlie Armstrong, Željko Ivanek (Law & Order, Madam Secretary) as The Croat, Jonathan Higginbotham (The Blacklist, Shining Vale) as Tommaso, and Mahina Napoleon (NCIS: Hawai'i) as Ginny. 

The spinoff "not only adds another compelling series to this collection, it extends our storytelling around two unforgettable characters fans have grown to love, hate or hate and then love in Maggie and Negan, brilliantly inhabited by Lauren and Jeffrey," Dan McDermott, president of entertainment and AMC Studios for AMC Networks, said when announcing Isle of the Dead. "It also lets us explore a corner of this universe located on the island of Manhattan, with an iconic skyline that takes on a very different meaning when viewed through the lens of a zombie apocalypse."

Isle started shooting last month in New Jersey and will continue to film in New York. It's one of three Walking Dead spinoff shows in the works from AMC Studios: a Daryl Dixon series starring Norman Reedus that is set in France and a Rick Grimes/Michonne series starring Andrew Lincoln and Danai Gurira are scheduled to premiere in 2023. 

As Cohan and Morgan teased in an on-set video they sent in to San Diego Comic-Con, "Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer." 

Maggie and Negan will first return in The Walking Dead: The Last Episodes, beginning Sunday, October 2 on AMC. Isle of the Dead premieres in 2023. 

Follow @CameronBonomolo on Twitter & @NewsOfTheDead for TWD Universe coverage all season long.