The Walking Dead is hitting the road with Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Carol (Melissa McBride), who will return in a sequel series from co-creators Scott Gimple and Angela Kang. Described as a "road show" with a different tone and feel from past seasons of The Walking Dead, the as-yet-untitled spinoff won't focus on Daryl and Carol exclusively — other characters will be along for the ride — but the two best friends will discover a new frontier in The Walking Dead Universe when the new series revs its engine sometime in 2023.
"With 'Daryl and Carol,' I can't say too much about it, but I will say it's going to be very different from The Walking Dead, going to have a different tone. It's going to have a different mission churning under it," Gimple, who serves as TWD chief content officer, told The Los Angeles Times. "There will be characters all around Carol and Daryl. And, of course, the musical numbers."
Jokes aside, the spinoff won't be quite as dark and heavy as previous seasons of The Walking Dead.
"There's many layers of approvals and things, but [it's meant to be] a little lighter. Not in a way that feels frivolous, but I think like all of us are looking to have fun in that world," said Kang, who moves over to the spinoff as showrunner. "It's a road show — I hope I can say that — and so I think it will feel distinct. It's definitely something that Norman and Melissa and I and Scott have all talked about, what we crave tonally."
The current tenth season of the main show planted seeds for the spinoff as early as the Season 10 premiere, where Daryl and Carol mulled over hitting the road to New Mexico. As Season 11 introduces the Commonwealth, a sprawling civilization that has mostly resumed normal life despite the ongoing zombie apocalypse, it's easy to see outsiders Daryl and Carol journeying somewhere new.
"I think Daryl, the lone wolf, we've always thought, 'That guy just rides off into the sunset at some point.' Carol is kind of the same person," Kang said, adding the Commonwealth story "touches on things I think are very relevant about class and about society."
"[Comic creator] Robert Kirkman really tapped into something that I think a lot of us are thinking about," she continued. "Obviously we've had to pivot to these other episodes that are part of the sort of Season 10 continuation bloc, and then for Season 11 there's just these stories with themes that are meaningful to all of us."
Kang is referring to the six all-new episodes extending Season 10 into early next year, with smaller-scale stories that will hold fans over until the 24-episode final season begins airing in late 2021. The series will come to an end in late 2022.
The Walking Dead Season 10 finale, "A Certain Doom," premieres Sunday, October 4 on AMC. For all things TWD, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.