As it stands, The Walking Dead universe consists of the main series (10 seasons), Fear the Walking Dead (5 seasons), a still-untitled TWD spin-off due out in the spring centered on a younger generation of survivors, and a trilogy of Rick Grimes movies that will be released in theaters. Scott Gimple, the Chief Content Officer of The Walking Dead, has several other ideas brewing, as he seeks to expand the universe even further.
In a couple of interviews this week, Gimple provided more details on the existing projects and teased an intriguing new idea that is currently being tossed around. On The Hollywood Reporters “The Top 5” podcast, for instance, Gimple intimated that Hugh Jackman’s Logan may provide some inspiration for the Rick Grimes trilogy of movies, if not in tone at least in concept. He hopes that the Rick Grimes movies — like Logan — can be seen and appreciated by those who have never seen The Walking Dead TV series, just as Logan stands on its own for those not versed in The X-Men.
“I think of Logan a lot. Logan is a movie that, if you grew up on X-Men comics and the cartoons … you got this extra thing out of it … But if you’ve never seen or read an X-Men thing in your life and you just stumbled onto Logan, I think that movie stands on its own. We need [the Rick Grimes] movie to stand on its own.”
Meanwhile, in an interview with Deadline, Gimple suggested that they’re working on series with different formats, as well. AMC is considering limited series in The Walking Dead universe, a potential anthology series, and specials that link up with existing series or stand on their own. One idea that Gimple returned to a couple of times, however, was a project with only one character.
One of my favorite projects, one that’s sort of hovering around, is really about a person, a single person in the apocalypse. We don’t really see anyone else there because of the situation they’re in. Then you have a story that’s like Cast Away or Omega Man, I suppose.
In that same interview, he returned to that idea again in a question about how The Walking Dead works more as an ensemble now that Andrew Lincoln has left the series.
I think we will have entertainments that are very single-character driven and we will have others that have an ensemble dynamic. I don’t think it’s particularly vital one way or the other, it’s just searching for that differentiation. I mentioned that one project where it would be one person, for instance, so that couldn’t be further from an ensemble.
I’m not entirely sure how much more The Walking Dead we really need, but I actually like this idea of a limited series focused on one character trying to survive out in the zombie apocalypse on his or her own. That’s a series that could run six or eight episodes, and end with that character potentially joining one of the three existing series. New characters are constantly being introduced onto the existing series. It might actually be nice to know a lot more about one of them before we meet them on The Walking Dead. Also, if they do go the Cast Away route, that single individual could trade in Wilson the volleyball for an actual zombie head, which would at least be a more lifelike companion.