The Walking Dead: World Beyond returns next year with the second half of the two-season limited event series, which aired its two-hour first season finale on Sunday with "The Deepest Cut" and "In This Life." AMC planned to release the 10-episode first season of The Walking Dead spinoff in April following the mothership show's season 10 finale, but the network postponed the series premiere when that episode suffered what was ultimately a six-month delay amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Now showrunner Matthew Negrete, who created the series with TWD chief content officer Scott Gimple, is looking to start production on season 2 in early 2021.
"We were lucky that we wrapped production before [coronavirus] hit, and we were almost done with post [production] when all this hit. So it really just affected our air dates, which obviously got pushed," Negrete said in a post-season interview with ComicBook.com. "But yeah, we're looking forward to getting everybody back on set and seeing people in person again."
World Beyond season 1 filmed for approximately five months in and around Richmond and Hopewell, Virginia, with series stars Alexa Mansour, Aliyah Royale, Nico Tortorella, Annet Mahendru, Nicolas Cantu, Hal Cumpston, and Julia Ormond.
The first season grew to add Scott Adsit, Ted Sutherland, Jelani Alladin, and Joe Holt and Natalie Gold in key roles. Going into the second season, World Beyond expands its scope as the characters confront "much bigger things" directly involving the shadowy Civic Republic Military — the helicopter group who abducted Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) from The Walking Dead.
"We always were thinking of this two-season aspect of the show as two very different feeling chapters of one complete book. That's one way I look at it," Negrete said. "For me, it's really about there's a lot that we want to get through in season 2. I've been working with the writers and we're in the process of writing the finale, episode 10 of season 2, right now."
With the return of Sutherland's Percy and Alladin's Will, who are now part of the larger group left divided by the end of Sunday's season finale, "We really have a lot of territory we're going to be mining and exploring up with those characters in the course of season 2."
"I think for the characters, it's about them learning about themselves. I think there's a lot more for us to discover about these characters in terms of how they're going to face these challenges," he said. "We've gone from these smaller stories of them playing Monopoly to Treehouse, and that's going to be very different. We're not going to be seeing some things necessarily that intimate in season 2. I think the scope's going to be a lot bigger, and they're going to be wrestling with the fate of much bigger things — let's put it like that — in season 2."
The Walking Dead returns with a six-episode extended season 10 on February 28, followed by the spring return of Fear the Walking Dead season 6. The Walking Dead: World Beyond returns with season 2 later in 2021 on AMC. Follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter for all things TWD.