The Walking Dead television show could continue past the ending of creator Robert Kirkman's comic book with later episodes taking place after a lengthy time jump revealed in the zombie saga's final issue, according to executive producer Scott Gimple. The former Walking Dead showrunner turned chief content officer wants to "see more" of the future established in the book's finale, which jumps ahead by 20-plus-years after — spoiler warning — the assassination of the legendary Rick Grimes, who is immortalized for ushering in a new era of peace and safety by liberating the expansive Commonwealth civilization that comes to be led by President Maggie Greene.
"It's always been about fulfilling the spirit of the book," Gimple said during an exclusive interview with ComicBook.com. "When I read that last issue, I was like, 'I want to see more of this. I want to see more of this world that he's laying out.' And Kirkman even was like, 'Hey, you see what I did there, see how much story is there, how about that?'"
"We want to fulfill the book," Gimple added, "but even in fulfilling the book, I think there's a lot more to go."
There will be changes made necessary by the path taken by the television show. TV's Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) will not participate in the Commonwealth storyline confirmed for Season 11 of The Walking Dead — he vanished from the main show alongside Anne (Pollyanna McIntosh) in its ninth season and will next return in a trilogy of feature films — and his first son, Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs), has been deceased for some eight years by present action in Season 10, now taking place a decade post-outbreak.
The book's final issue centers on a grown-up Carl as the father of a six-year-old daughter, Andrea Grimes, who grows up in a safe zone where zombies, sometimes called "Walking Dead," have been managed to the point of near-extinction.
In this new world, the United States is close to uniting the East with the Western Alliance, a feat made possible in part by a cross-country railroad project overseen by Eugene Porter.
"I will say that there's a lot of implied story in the final issue, with the railroad meeting, and the colony to the West uniting with the colony to the East. There's some general thoughts and notions that I have for that," Kirkman said during a live-streamed Q&A. "If the television show ever gets to that point in the comic book series, and we decide to continue past that point, I'm kind of excited about the idea of telling a little bit more with older Eugene and Judge Michonne and the different things that were in the comic series that could have gone on, and we could have done more with. So that could be kind of neat."
For all things TWD, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter. The Walking Dead Season 10 finale premieres Sunday, October 4 on AMC.