The cast and producers of The Walking Dead universe took the stage at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden for a panel previewing what's coming up in the ever-expanding Walking Dead world. We learned plenty about The Walking Dead Season 10, but the most exciting news was about the upcoming spin-off, which is still untitled, but is being referred to as TWD3.
Executive producers Scott M. Gimple, Robert Kirkman, and Matt Negrete and cast members Nico Tortorella, Annet Mahendru, Aliyah Royale, Alexa Mansour, Nicolas Cantu, and Hal Cumpston were on hand to preview the series.
The panel opened with a first look trailer for the upcoming series coming in spring 2020, which revealed that the show will take place about a decade after the start of the zombie apocalypse, maybe a couple of years in the future past where the other series are, but pretty close on the timeline. It follows a group of teenagers living in a sophisticated, safe community behind walls. They grew up during the zombie apocalypse, but were sheltered from the worst of it. They do normal stuff, like go to school and have parties, but they do it all knowing that there's a big, exciting, scary world outside their home. The show will follow their coming-of-age journey as they venture outside of the community's walls.
“They've grown up in the apocalypse,” Gimple said of the show's young characters. “They're aware of walkers. They haven't interacted with them. They've been [living] beyond walls. That makes any journey they need to make incredibly dangerous. They are affected in different ways by what happened. They don't remember much of a world without walkers. This is the normal world for them, but they've been apart from it. They've been in safety. There's a quest aspect to this show. They're going somewhere. They have to leave this place of safety to put themselves in a position where they have to fight for their survival and what they believe in. It's a different kind of story in the world of The Walking Dead, and it introduces a new world.”
Gimple also revealed that the community is tied to the people who took Rick Grimes away in a helicopter in his final episode of The Walking Dead and who appeared on Fear the Walking Dead. He said that the three interlocking circles of the group's symbol represent three different communities that make up the larger group, and the kids of TWD3 live in one of those communities. The Rick Grimes stuff is happening far away in a different corner of the world, and will not directly connect to this series, but there will be plenty of Easter eggs and references to the larger universe in the new series. The new series will start in the midwest, though the characters' quest will take them very far from home.
Every group in the Walking Dead universe has a different name for the undead, and our heroes call them “empties.” The cast also revealed some tidbits about their characters. Hope, played by Alexa Mansour, has a drinking problem. And Felix, played by Nico Tortorella, is queer, which Tortorella, who is nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns, said is both very important and not that important, because, as Scott Gimple said to them during their first phone call discussing the character, “On this show, in the Walking Dead universe, the only binary that exists is dead and alive.” Tortorella's first day on set was their birthday, and it was also Felix's birthday in the first scene they were shooting.
Gimple wouldn't confirm any crossovers between the new show and the other shows, but said that the nature of the franchise's expanding mythology means further crossovers are likely.
TWD3 is coming to AMC in spring 2020.