7:52pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Walking Dead' Gets Permanent Universal Studios Hollywood Attraction
Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead has added another notch to its worldwide domination belt: a full-time theme park attraction.
Chris Hardwick announced during Sunday's episode of Talking Dead that the zombie drama — based on Kirkman's comic book series — will be getting its own permanent theme park attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood.
The Walking Dead attraction is slated to open in summer 2016 and, according to footage from a promo for the new adventure, will be incorporate elements including zombies and locations from the series and comic.
"It's going to be located within a custom-built structure that will immerse guests within the world of The Walking Dead," Hardwick said of the attraction. Greg Nicotero, the frequent director and Emmy-winning guru behind the show's trademark zombies, is involved in the creation of the attraction in addition to the rest of the show's production team.
Hardwick noted that the attraction will feature a mix of state-of-the-art special effects and animatronics as well as live performers, vowing it to be the "most intense, realistic Walking Dead experience ever."
The decision to feature The Walking Dead attraction as a full-time installation comes after the AMC series has been a Halloween staple at Universal theme parks for the past few years. The series has also featured a "Walking Dead Escape," an obstacle course that allowed fans the opportunity to try to survive or be among the infected as part of a course that traveled the country at various Comic-Cons.
For Kirkman, it's the latest money-maker for Walking Dead. The comic series, a New York Times best-seller, has been translated into multiple languages and has spawned two lines of toys (for the comics and AMC series), board games and apparel. In addition to the flagship series, AMC has a post-show Talking Dead and pseudo-spinoff Fear the Walking Dead. Kirkman has parlayed the success of TV's highest-rated show among the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demo into an overall deal with AMC Studios as well as a feature film pact with Universal. Both Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead air globally, often ranking as the top-rated shows in multiple territories.
Check out the promo for The Walking Dead Attraction, below.