It was Walking Dead mania at New York Comic Con (NYCC) this past weekend with back-to-back panels on AMC’s flagship series and the upcoming spinoff about a group of teenagers coming of age in the apocalypse. The untitled new series is the third show in the franchise, set to make its debut in the spring.
Chief Content Officer Scott M. Gimple set the stage for the new show at the panel at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, explaining that fans of TWD will get to discover a different world than they’ve seen before.
Fans actually got a hint of the new world in season nine of The Walking Dead — specifically, in Andrew Lincoln’s last episode.
There was a three-circle symbol on the helicopter that snatched Rick Grimes up. That symbol represents “three different civilizations that are bound and intertwined with each other,” Gimple reveals. The new series will delve deeper into one of those civilizations, although it will remain “very, very separate from Rick.”
The series will focus on a generation that has grown up in the apocalypse. It’s a privileged group of people who have been living behind walls in safety their entire lives. They have knowledge of zombies and know how to kill them, but “they haven’t really been interacting with them,” Gimple explains.
“We’ve been sheltered from this reality, these horrible, horrible monsters roaming the streets,” says Nicolas Cantu, who plays Elton, one of the teens. The show also stars Aliyah Royale, Alexa Mansour, Annet Mahendru, Hal Cumpston, and Nico Tortorella.
“There’s a quest aspect to this show. They’re going somewhere,” Gimple says. “It’s exploring the apocalypse from a new perspective.”
“They’re going on a long journey,” says showrunner Matthew Negrete (pictured above with the cast), who also shared that Stand By Me is one of the show’s biggest influences. “We are expanding the mythology and showing a new corner of the universe.”
Fans will get to see new weapons in this developed world. “Because this is a First World place in the apocalypse, they have these Walker-specific weapons,” Gimple says. “They’re hybrid weapons.”
The story begins in the Midwest, nearly 10 years after the start of the apocalypse, which is the same time frame as TWD, which means there is potential for crossovers, just like there is between TWD and Fear the Walking Dead. The show will not refer to the zombies as “Walkers” as TWD does. Instead, the characters will call them “Empties.”
“The Walking Dead universe is a huge universe, and it’s getting bigger by the day,” TWD creator Robert Kirkman says. “I think it’s safe to say that [this show] is expanding the universe in the biggest ways yet.”
A teaser of the show, which you can watch below, debuted at the panel.
Photo: Twitter/The Walking Dead