The Walking Dead boss weighs in on the future of the franchise: “It’s a different game now”

What's coming down the road for The Walking Dead Universe?

2024 Winter TCA Portrait Studio
2024 Winter TCA Portrait Studio / Corey Nickols/GettyImages

Like the survivors of the zombie apocalypse in the Walking Dead franchise, we have a lot of questions about the future.

The immediate future is clear: this Sunday, February 25, sees the debut of the highly anticipated The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live, a six-episode spinoff that reunites Andrew Lincoln’s Rick Grimes with Danai Gurira’s Michonne. And there are other shows on the docket, like the second season of Dead City, which begins filming this April; and Daryl Dixon, which wrapped filming of its second season with a third in development.

Showrunner and TWD Universe head Scott M. Gimple hasn’t even totally ruled out a second season of The Ones Who Live, saying a classic “Anything is possible” during the show’s recent TCA (Television Critics Association) press day.

For any other franchise, three series with multiple episodes would be more than enough. For The Walking Dead, which has been AMC’s stalwart franchise since 2010, we’re about to enter the most unknown period in the universe’s nearly 15 year long history. With both The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead over, there’s no long-season show ongoing, just six-episode miniseries.

So, what’s next? When asked whether he has a plan for 2025, 2026, or beyond, Gimple got downright pensive about the state of entertainment as a whole.

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, Lesley-Ann Brandt as Thorne - The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live _ Season 1 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC /

“Yeah, I mean, in my mind it's a question of ... It's very different,” Gimple told Bam Smack Pow during a recent interview over Zoom. “You really just have to come up with a lot of options and a lot of dreams and a lot of fan fiction in your head, and then you really have to see how things are playing out. It's a different game now than when we were doing 16 episodes a year, 16 episodes of both Walking Dead and Fear. It's very different, and so it's a lot of theoreticals and hopes and dreams, and then you pivot towards them.”

While that sounds even more ephemeral than usual for the cagey producer, there is reason for Walking Dead fans to have more than hopes than dreams.

“But I will say that's what this series was,” Gimple continued, referring to The Ones Who Live. “This series was laying down breadcrumbs that you hope to get through, and that you've built this whole mythology that nobody knows about. And hopefully you'll get to tell that mythology. But if you don't, maybe you can use it in another place. And that's what I'm trying to do for these.”

The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live premieres Sunday, February 25 at 9/8c on AMC and AMC+.

Next. The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live review: The one you’ve been waiting for. The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live review: The one you’ve been waiting for. dark