The Walking Dead series became a universe after creator Robert Kirkman dropped in a spin-off series, Fear The Walking Dead. However, this got cemented after Walking Dead star Lennie James got ported over to Fear, bridging the two shows together officially for the first time.
“The Walking Dead is a universe… and we have a plan to manage over the next decade, plus,” AMC CEO Josh Sapan said during the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference (via THR). “That plan is a careful plan to respect the world of the fans of that world.”
Chief Content Officer for AMC, Scott Gimple also stated in 2014 that the show could go on forever by means of a revolving door of cast members.
“As a comic book, I don’t know if it will end. As a TV show, all TV shows end,” Gimple said on Larry King Now. “But I will say, I think it’s possible that it could go on and on and on. I think if it went ten years… if it went longer than that it’s possible that the cast, considering the amount of deaths on this cast and everything else, after ten or twelve years, it could shift into a whole new cast.”
Gimple revealed in 2017 that the show was planning for a 20-year plus run, something that could even rival the long-running The Simpsons, that enters into its 30th year. ”
The show has often been steered away from the original comic books by Kirkman but typically it tries to follow the blueprint. However, we have seen major changes in the show such as Carl Grimes who’s an important comic book character but got killed off in the show in the last season.
Season 9 will also stir up things as Lauren Cohan and Andrew Lincoln will be next in line to step away from the show.
“We try to reinvent the show every eight episodes. We have this story that is a fidelity to the comic book, but we’re also exploring original stuff, and those things help us go on every year,” Gimple said last year. “We want to try do it better, do things we haven’t done, take risks. It’s scary as hell, but as long as we keep doing that the show can go on and on.”
Walking Dead will continue to mix its comic book characters in the wake of losing some of its veteran characters. The show will still continue to move on without these characters as its forever expansive cast keeps growing to include more new faces throughout the latest season.
Fear The Walking Dead season 5 is now airing on AMC while Season 9 of The Walking Dead will debut on October 7 on The AMC.