After discussing the forthcoming Rick Grimes’ movies with Entertainment Weekly earlier this week, Scott Gimple — the architect of The Walking Dead universe — returned for part two of the interview, which focused primarily on the universe that’s being built. For those who may not be keeping up with all the ins-and-outs outside of The Walking Dead itself, here’s a brief rundown of how the universe is unfolding.
Ultimately, the true starting point for the “universe” was the exit of Rick Grimes from The Walking Dead, who was evacuated in a helicopter that had made a few random appearances on the series. The helicopter displayed a symbol, which we have since learned stands for CRM, the initials of which likely refer to three different communities, including “The Commonwealth” on The Walking Dead. That helicopter (or another helicopter belonging to the same CRM organization) also appeared on Fear the Walking Dead.
Meanwhile, AMC is also launching a third series in the spring, called The Walking Dead: World Beyond. It will focus on an entirely different community in Nebraska, one that has been relatively shielded from the zombie apocalypse. The series will be set around the same time as The Walking Dead is currently set (ten years after the zombie outbreak) and the focus of the series will be on the younger people, who decide to leave their walled-in community and explore the outside world, where they interact with dangers of the apocalypse for the first time.
Based on what Scott Gimple has said so far about the universe, the three series will continue to remain fairly distinct from one another. We may occasionally see evidence that all three shows exist in the same universe — like the record album in Fear the Walking Dead revealing the identity of Beta in The Walking Dead — but The Walking Dead itself won’t be driven by stories in the greater universe. There is a Commonwealth storyline in Robert Kirkman’s comics, and the plan is to hew fairly close to it. Meanwhile, Fear takes place in Texas and is largely its own thing, and it should stay that way, so as not to poison the rest of the universe.
However, Scott Gimple does seem to suggest that The Walking Dead: The World Beyond and the Rick Grimes movies will be more closely related. “This is not the new mythology for The Walking Dead,” Gimple told EW. “This is a new mythology for The Walking Dead universe. The new show is tied into it quite a bit, the movie is as well, but it isn’t going to be a driving force throughout all the shows on the universe.”
In other words, though all three shows (and the movie) exist in the same universe, The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead will continue to be their own things, separate from the overall universe. However, The World Beyond will be more directly tied into the overall universe, along with the Rick Grimes’ movies, which are still in the development phase.