In the interest of full disclosure, there's a part of me that holds out hope that Angela Kang, Greg Nicotero, Scott M. Gimple, and/or Robert Kirkman are reading this because I think I've come up with some "pitch ideas" for keeping the Walking Dead universe purring along into the future. Best part? Some of them connect to things that are already in place. Let me be clear: do they need help? Yeah, no. A series that can find ways to reinvent itself after eight seasons while staying true to its core is no easy feat. Other shows have crashed and burned attempting moves like that after only five seasons. And I'm sure everyone's a bit busy right now working to get The Walking Dead season 10 finale out, develop a timeline to start season 11, finish The Walking Dead: World Beyond and set a premiere date, and then get the sixth season of Fear the Walking Dead out to eager eyeballs.
So with their time stretched, we're going to "elevator pitch" our ideas (some of them might be longer "elevator rides" than others), and for the Walking Dead fans out there? Hit up the comments section below to let me know what you think and ideas you'd want them to run with.
"The Walking Dead: Universes": A "What If…?" audio drama series that explores how things might've gone if things were different. What if Herschel had lived? What if Daryl hadn't made a run at Negan and Glen lived? What if Maggie had killed Negan? What if T-Dog was able to get Merle free? So many options, and we already saw how fascinating it is to watch play out during Danai Gurira's last episode.
"The Walking Dead": The Anime: I'm talking either Powerhouse Animation Studios or Wit Studio because if you give it a Castlevania look with an early-season Attack on Titan vibe, you have a hit on your hands. Imagine either of those studios getting their hands on animating Beta's horde?
"The Walking Dead" International: It was already done in Brian K. Vaughan and Marcos Martin's The Walking Dead: The Alien, which introduced us to Rick's brother Jeffrey. Wesley Chu's Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead: Typhoon expanded the TWD universe into China. Now, I say we start having series set in, produced in, and starring people native to other countries. No dubbing. Each show is done in the country's native language, and get subtitles here in the U.S. Netflix has already proven that there are a ton of eyeballs out there for international programming as the number of folks "who don't want to read my shows" gets smaller.
"The Walking Dead"/"The West Wing"/"24": I'd love to see an Aaron Sorkin walk-n-talk crossed with a political thriller, detailing the years/months/days (depending on series commitment) leading up to when it all went south. There's still a ton of backstory possibilities that could be mined, and adding a little "conspiracy" to the franchise's mythology could work. Maybe CRM existed before the walker-fest kicked-off, maybe some societal manipulations gone wrong?
"The Walking Dead" Comedy Series: Wait! We can explain! Hear us out! First, at least I wasn't pitching a musical (that was #6). But in much the same way that CBS All Access is looking to the lighter side of Starfleet with the upcoming animated comedy Star Trek: Lower Decks, we could easily apply it to the TWD universe. Just imagine if Morgan and the rest of the crew got that distribution plan up-and-running. You're telling me I'm the only one who sees that as the potential for a The Office-style sitcom? Probably, but set up a community in a new part of the landscape and throw it on a better-quality cable channel or non-Disney+ streaming service and there's potential (think FX's What We Do in the Shadows).