With the cast and crew of AMC's The Walking Dead already in a deep-dive production-wise on the tenth season, life in the Walking Dead universe has become a lot like the NFL: neither of them seem to have off-seasons any more. Hot off a ninth season that said goodbye to Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and hello to a strong ensemble cast and a "Big Bad" fronted by the amazing Samantha Morton as Alpha, series executive producer and showrunner Angela Kang did the near-impossible: she took a show that lost its long-standing lead and found a way to turn it into something fresh and dangerous again.
When it comes to spinoffs, Fear the Walking Dead has charged into a fifth season with a new/old/familiar face (Austin Amelio's Dwight) and a storyline tying in directly with the upcoming Rick Grimes film trilogy. Production is currently underway on a second Walking Dead spinoff series, co-created by Scott M. Gimple (TWD universe's chief content officer) and showrunner Matt Negrete and featuring two young female protagonists as the focus shifts to the first generation to come-of-age in the apocalypse as we know it. Some will become heroes. Some will become villains. In the end, all of them will be changed forever: grown-up and cemented in their identities – both good and bad.
One change that caught many fans by surprise was the announcement that The Walking Dead was ending – in its comic book form. After 193 issues, comic book creator/writer Robert Kirkman made the decision to end the series with the most recent issue (Bleeding Cool's very own Rich Johnston has done some amazing coverage of the breaking news and fallout/reaction). While the worlds of the comic book and television series have long parted ways through a number of differing storyline and character developments, AMC released a statement reassuring fans that the television series will continue to do right by the spirit of the comic book:
"This extraordinary comic created a world that already lives in multiple forms, and in the hearts and minds of millions of fans around the world, and will for many years to come."
AMC's "The Walking Dead" Season 10
Speaking of the upcoming tenth season, as Lincoln assumes the helm on an episode for the first time while speculation over just how much of a role Michonne will have this season continues to grow. Of course, there's continued buzz over Lauren Cohan's Maggie returning in some capacity – especially now that ABC's Whiskey Cavalier appears to have shuffled off the programming coil and still hasn't found a home.
Another highlight to look forward to is Michael Cudlitz (Abraham), who is back for a second go-around behind the camera as director (which he just recently completed). While his previous post with Cailey Fleming (Judith) melted our hearts and reminded us that we do – in fact – have the capacity to feel, Cudlitz's next image update got our arenaline raging again as he joined Norman Reedus (Daryl) and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Negan) to reassure fans that "these fuckers are killin' it" in his episode:
The Walking Dead is expected to return to AMC in October 2019, with filming currently underway. Fear the Walking Dead currently airs on Sunday nights at 9 p.m. ET (official trailer and overview below), with production on the second spinoff series currently underway in Virginia.
Heading into season 5 of Fear the Walking Dead, the group's mission is clear: locate survivors and help make what's left of the world a slightly better place. With dogged determination, Morgan Jones leads the group with a philosophy rooted in benevolence, community and hope. Each character believes that helping others will allow them to make up for the wrongs of their pasts.
But trust won't be easily earned. Their mission of helping others will be put to the ultimate test when our group finds themselves in unchartered territory, one which will force them to face not just their pasts but also their fears. It is only through facing those fears that the group will discover an entirely new way to live, one that will leave them forever changed.