The Walking Dead chief content officer Scott Gimple says "familiar faces" could pop up when The Walking Dead: World Beyond returns with its second and final season later this year. The ten-episode first season of the Walking Dead spin-off ended with Felix (Nico Tortorella) and Iris (Aliyah Royale) plotting to rescue Hope (Alexa Mansour) from the Civic Republic and the CRM, the black-clad military force that shuttled its prized Asset away aboard one of the shadowy organization's many helicopters. The Civic Republic Military is behind the disappearance of Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and Anne (Pollyanna McIntosh), who flew away together in Season 9 of The Walking Dead, as well as the long-missing Heath (Corey Hawkins).
"It really is about those different worlds, those very different worlds. It will be getting deeper into the CRM as the [Season 1] finale pretty much indicated," series co-creator Gimple told TWDUniverse on Twitch about World Beyond Season 2. "We might see familiar faces pop up, it's possible. It's about growing up. This is a two-season show, so these kids have been through a very intense experience where they have to grow up very fast, and we see these characters change quite a bit over the course of these ten episodes."
Another unaccounted-for character with ties to the Civic Republic is CRM soldier Isabelle (Sydney Lemon), who video journalist Althea (Maggie Grace) encountered when investigating the CRM in Fear the Walking Dead. Gimple previously teased Heath's return to the Walking Dead Universe years after the character, a survivor in Rick's Alexandria, was abducted by Anne — formerly known as "Jadis" of the Scavengers — and traded to the CRM.
Amid speculation that the missing Rick would return in World Beyond ahead of his lead role in the first-ever Walking Dead feature film, Gimple revealed World Beyond would tie into the planned big-screen trilogy — but without a surprise cameo from Lincoln's Rick Grimes.
"I'm not happy to say the answer. I'm happy to be definitive with people. It is not," Gimple told ComicBook.com when asked if World Beyond is leading up to Rick's return. "That's one, I don't know if people are being cagey about that. But I feel that one's important not to be cagey about. I think people could watch this show and learn a lot about the mythology that Rick Grimes is caught up in. And they might even see places where Rick Grimes has been. But yeah, he's not swinging around the corner."
"I don't even know if I'm making people upset saying that," he added, "but I just don't like people watching it, sort of expecting Rick."