The Walking Dead: World Beyond co-creator and showrunner Matt Negrete promises the spinoff, which will end after two 10-episode seasons, finishes "in a big climactic way." The two-season limited event series is the first Walking Dead show to start working towards an endpoint from the beginning — something Negrete says helps set World Beyond apart from predecessors The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead.
Comparing World Beyond to coming-of-age tale Stand By Me in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Negrete notes there's a unique approach in plotting a set number of episodes over an "open-ended" series:
"I'm kind of two minds about it, because right now we're breaking episode 7 of season 2 with the writers, and we've all fallen in love with these characters. So I think for all of us, we feel like we could write these characters forever," he said. "But, at the same time, it's nice to be able to approach a series from beginning to end kind of knowing what our ending is going to be and working towards that ending."
"It's not like, 'Oh, we'll see what happens in season 6,' or whatever. We're going to go two seasons. It's going to be 20 episodes total," Negrete continued. "It's challenging because there's a lot we need to fit in those 20 episodes. But, at the same time, it's great to approach it knowing what you're working towards."
The World Beyond writers' room treats both seasons as "two very different feeling chapters of hopefully a very satisfying book," one currently in the process of putting its ending to page.
An early description for the series, about the first generation of survivors raised in the zombie apocalypse, teased some of its characters would become heroes while others would become villains. In the series premiere "Brave," we meet a group of teenagers nicknamed "the Endlings": sisters Iris (Aliyah Royale) and Hope (Alexa Mansour), and classmates Elton (Nicolas Cantu) and Silas (Hal Cumpston).
Asked to reveal when the ending began to take shape, Negrete said both he and co-creator Scott Gimple worked to mold a character-first story that would dictate how World Beyond ends.
"The thing about following this group of characters that are growing up, the thing we landed on first was who are these characters? But secondly, where do we want them to end up? And so plot-wise, it took us a little bit more time to see what would feel satisfying with the plot," Negrete said. "But in terms of the characters, we had a pretty good idea of by rooting story and character. We had a pretty good idea of where we wanted these characters to end up emotionally."1comments
"So tracking that emotional journey was fairly easy. It's just the plot that made it into place a little bit later, and we're still working out a few of the details, but we have a pretty good idea of where we're going to land," he added. "It's all going to end in a big climactic way, I can't really say anything, but it's going to be big."
World Beyond airs its series premiere immediately following The Walking Dead Season 10 finale premiering Sunday, October 4, on AMC. Read ComicBook.com's spoiler-free review of the first two episodes of The Walking Dead: World Beyond.