Walking Dead Star Calls the CRM an “Existential Threat” to TWD Universe

The Walking Dead: World Beyond star Julia Ormond, who plays Lt. Col. Elizabeth Kublek of the shadowy Civic Republic Military, calls the CRM a force that threatens to "overwhelm" the entire Walking Dead Universe. The black-suited soldiers of the CRM have so far had run-ins with Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), flying him away from The Walking Dead aboard one of their many helicopters, and sleuth Althea (Maggie Grace), who found herself in the middle of a conspiracy in Fear the Walking Dead. And in World Beyond, where we learn they police a hidden society home to some 200,000 survivors, the CRM acquired an asset, gifted teen Hope Bennett (Alexa Mansour), capable of helping them build the future.

"It's kind of neat to come in on that level because there's been all of this build-up around the CRM and who are they? What are we going to find out?" Ormond told the AMC Blog about being at the center of a story that ties the Walking Dead Universe together. "When I've watched The Walking Dead as a series, you are kind of watching it and feeling the impact of communications going down, all of these things that we rely on for everyday life. We're watching Rick Grimes and his family and these battles that are going on between these different establishments and safe havens or havens at risk and communities."

She continued, "There is a sense [of] 'well, I wonder what's going on in Germany,' or 'I wonder what's going on in Asia,' or 'I wonder is there a stronghold that is somewhere out there?' So there's definitely something about coming in with the CRM as this bigger entity."

In World Beyond, the CRM whisks Hope away to join a think tank tasked with helping the Civic Republic save a world ravaged by a zombie apocalypse for a decade. She'll be reunited with her scientist father, Dr. Leo Bennett (Joe Holt), supposedly seeking a cure to the zombie virus as he teaches the next generation of bright young minds at a CR research facility in New York State.

As Hope and sister Iris (Aliyah Royale) learn, the Civic Republic forbids all communications in or out, and they do not disclose where they're located. The CRM is shrouded in highly-confidential secrecy as they protect a civilization home to precious resources not seen since before the apocalypse.

"It's the secrecy piece of it that I think makes it suspicious for the kids because why does it need to be so secret? And it feels brutal," Ormond said. "There is a tone to it that that separation of family, in the name of sacrifice, tells us something about the CRM, and it tells us something about the people within it and the leadership style and the politics behind it. What's the philosophy politically behind that approach?"

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Ormond added, "And so what we find out about in The Walking Dead: World Beyond is that there is this force out there that could be overwhelming to these other characters that we've come to know and love in The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead, that suddenly could turn tables on people. So if we get it right, there's something about learning about The Walking Dead: World Beyond that sets up an existential threat for the others."

The Walking Dead: World Beyond returns to AMC with new episodes in 2021. Follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter for all things TWD.