While the cast and crew of AMC's The Walking Dead roll along with their deep-dive production-wise on the tenth season, life in the franchise's universe has become a lot like the NFL: neither have off-seasons anymore. With a strong ensemble cast (and a "Big Bad" fronted by Samantha Morton in an award-earning turn as Whisperers leader Alpha) and richly layered writing, showrunner/executive producer Angela Kang did the near-impossible: made the show feel fresh and dangerous again.
While work continues on that side of the Walking Dead universe rambles on, production is also underway on the upcoming The Walking Dead spinoff (no official title yet) as it readies for a Spring 2020 debut. But while the series is set to introduce new faces in new environments, the series might be doing so with a little help from a very familiar face: Michael Cudlitz, the never-forgettable Abraham and directorial "master craftsman" behind the camera.
While not confirmed and also taking into consideration that it might be for some "flashback" work (which we're offering as a possibility even though we don't believe it), it would appear that Cudlitz will be directing at least one episode of the spinoff series' first season.
It began with this tweet, with a hashtag that had us convinced that his "new adventure" would still be in the Walking Dead universe:
Off to a new adventure next week. I could not be more excited for this next chapter. #TWDFamily 👊👊👊
— Michael Cudlitz (@Cudlitz) September 16, 2019
So guess what happens to be filming in the Richmond, Virginia, area? Give you a hint: it rhymes with, "Da Balking Wed Shinoff" (and if you need a cheat sheet for that clue, stop reading now)…
Ok …… what's to do in Richmond VA. ?
— Michael Cudlitz (@Cudlitz) September 22, 2019
The third series in a franchise that includes global hit series The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead will feature two young female protagonists and focus on 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.
The Walking Dead spinoff series (co-created by TWD CCO Scott M. Gimple and showrunner Matt Negrete and set to be directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts) stars Alexa Mansour (Madame Secretary), Nicolas Cantu (The Good Place), Hal Cumpston (Bilched), Annet Mahendru (The Americans), Aliyah Royale (Major Crimes), Nico Tortorella (Younger), and Joe Holt (The Tick, Scandal). In this next chapter of the Walking Dead universe, which follows two female protagonists with a focus on the first generation to come-of-age in the zombie apocalypse.
Mansour's character is a good-natured rule breaker who lives for today. She is likable and funny on the outside but sad on the inside. Cantu's character is small for his age in addition to being friendly and an old soul. He also has a black belt in karate. Cumpston's character is big for his age. He is a shy loner that scares some kids, but he hates the fact that he scares people.
Mahendru has been cast in the role of Huck, while Royale will portray Iris – though not much else is known about their characters. Tortorella's Felix is an honorable man of his word who isn't afraid to fight for others' safety and acceptance. Holt's Leo Bennett is a solid family man and respected professor with a generous heart and unwavering optimism for the future. He'd risk his life to save the people he cares about.
The Walking Dead is a story that started 10 years ago with one man trying to find his family. That family grew and gradually communities took shape. They fought and survived, thrived and gave birth to a new generation. It is a tale of humankind and there are more stories to tell.
It is now Spring, a few months after the end of Season 9, when our group of survivors dared to cross into Whisperer territory during the harsh winter. The collected communities are still dealing with the after effects of Alpha's horrific display of power, reluctantly respecting the new borderlines being imposed on them, all while organizing themselves into a militia-style fighting force, preparing for a battle that may be unavoidable.
But the Whisperers are a threat unlike any they have ever faced. Backed by a massive horde of the dead it is seemingly a fight they cannot win. The question of what to do and the fear it breeds will infect the communities and give rise to paranoia, propaganda, secret agendas, and infighting that will test them as individuals and as a society. The very idea of whether civilization can survive in a world filled with the dead hangs in the balance.
AMC's The Walking Dead returns for its tenth season on Sunday, October 6th.