Co-creators Scott M. Gimple and Matt Negrete unveiled their new interpretation of the apocalypse during an extended New York Comic Con panel.
The mysterious third series set within the Walking Dead universe is shaking off some shrouds of secrecy.
While a title remains unannounced, co-creators Scott M. Gimple and Matt Negrete (chief content officer of the greater franchise and showrunner of the third series, respectively) took to the New York Comic Con stage to announce new details about their story, which they compared to coming-of-age tales like Stand By Me, focusing on a young generation of survivors who know little else other than the world of the dead but have not had to confront the dead themselves — not yet, at least.
The scope of the series was further expanded upon in a brand-new trailer, one that shows off the vast cast of characters, including Aliyah Royale as Iris, Annet Mahendru as Huck, Alexa Mansour as Hope, Nicolas Cantu as Elton, Hal Cumpston as Silas and Nico Tortorella as Felix. The series is set to debut in the spring.
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“They’ve grown up in the apocalypse,” said Gimple. “They’re aware of walkers. They haven’t interacted with them. They’ve been [living] beyond walls. That makes any journey they need to make incredibly dangerous. They are affected in different ways by what happened. They don’t remember much of a world without walkers. This is the normal world for them, but they’ve been apart from it. They’ve been in safety. There’s a quest aspect to this show. They’re going somewhere. They have to leave this place of safety to put themselves in a position where they have to fight for their survival and what they believe in. It’s a different kind of story in the world of The Walking Dead, and it introduces a new world.”
Gimple related that the civilization featured in the third Walking Dead series ties into the same mysterious three-circle entity that’s been teased across both the flagship series and Fear the Walking Dead — the same insignia on the helicopter that took Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) away to parts unknown. Gimple said those three circles represent three different civilizations “bound and entwined” in some ways: “The place [these characters] come from is associated with one of those circles.”
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The series begins in the Midwest, though the “quest aspect” takes the young men and women off to further flung corners of the world. As for ways in which the new drama and the flagship Walking Dead differ, the zombies are not known as “walkers.” They are known as “empties.” As for the different types of characters, Nico Tortorella said his character, Felix, is queer, and represents one of the great truths of the show’s universe: “The only binaries in the zombie apocalypse are dead and alive.”
While the characters on the show will use different types of weapons developed for the apocalypse, representing a “jump in technology,” there won’t be a jump in time — the series takes place roughly 10 years following the start of the zombie apocalypse, which means the flagship Walking Dead and the new show are aligned much more closely in time than some may have expected.
“This is one of those big things that’s happening during The Walking Dead,” said Gimple, “but they don’t know anything about each other.”
It’s unclear if any characters from either The Walking Dead or Fear the Walking Dead will have roles on the third series. Stars and fan favorites Norman Reedus (who plays Daryl) and Melissa McBride (Carol) have “franchise deals” that allow them to move freely among all corners of the universe, for example. However, Gimple suggested that a crossover between the new series and the existing ones is not only likely, but inevitable.
“This is a whole new mythology in the world of The Walking Dead but this mythology has touched both shows,” he said. “It’s very much on its own, but there are points where there is crossover, and there may be bigger points in the future.”