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AMC is doubling down on The Walking Dead, developing a mysterious companion series from Robert Kirkman, the creator of the comics, on which the zombie drama is based. AMC envisions the series for a target on-air date of 2015 for the original drama that will feature a brand-new story and a new cast of characters based on the rules of the universe featured in Kirkman’s long-running comic book series.
The Hollywood Reporter caught up with the cast and creators of The Walking Dead to hear their pitches for the companion series.
Robert Kirkman (comics creator/exec producer)
If I had to pick, I’d pick space dragons. (Laughs.) I’ve never really shown another part of the world in the comic books. There have been mentions in the show like, “They’re doing this from France,” but they’ve never shown it. So the idea of seeing another part of The Walking Dead universe and exploring that is very exciting to me. It’s going to be remarkable just how different things can be just by going to a different location. The thing that really excites me most about the spinoff is that I feel like I’m in competition with my 24-year-old self and have to top myself. That’s a fun challenge for me.
Scott Gimple (showrunner)
Everyone is asking me if I’ll be involved, and I don’t know. The Walking Dead is a 16-hour-a-day job, so I’m not banging down their door, because I still have stuff to do here. I think the Telltale game actually kicked open the door a little bit for a companion series. We saw special appearances of other characters: Clementine was a super cool story. I’d start with Lee and Clementine, then I’d look for a cool place to set it. We’d do it on an island in the South Pacific. I have no idea what I’d have to do with it, but I’m excited to see it because now I’d get to watch The Walking Dead and be surprised.
Andrew Lincoln (Rick)
There’s always the fascination when you watch something like our show and you think, “How did it start? What caused it? How do we cure it?” But that is completely at odds with what our show is about. The thing I love about our show is we’re the grunts. We’re the people that don’t know anything. That’s why I love episodes one and two because the new threat is the common cold that’s going to kill us. There are countless areas that you can explore because it is about the human condition — it’s just a vacuum-packed perfect sort of lab test.
Danai Gurira (Michonne)
I would love to see how the government responded to the outbreak and how it crumbled. The amount of security systems this country has to see that start: What was it? How did they find out and see them as they know it got out of hand. I’d love to go right into that situation room. You always want to know more from that. Cracking more into how that all broke down and what that looked like.
Norman Reedus (Daryl)
I like the idea of a village full of children. There was a Twilight Zone like that that I liked.
Lauren Cohan (Maggie)
I’d love to see Maggie on an island, but I want to save that for our show! (Laughs.) I know the spinoff has nothing to do with our groups. I’d like to see how this world would be with a lot more people. What if we moved into this underground city and there were little tunnels between cities? I just had a vision of looking up at all these skyscrapers and we’d built prison bars along the top of things so you could get from room to room in an effort to keep people under control.
Steven Yeun (Glenn)
It’d be really fun to do a Better Call Saul–type sitcom that maybe goes back to the day when Glenn was delivering pizzas. It would take place right before when the zombie apocalypse hits.
Chad Coleman (Tyreese)
In this world, I’d like to see other communities and other places. I’d find a way to weave in what the apocalypse looks like around the world. Is there any way for us to have any communication to find out what’s going on in Egypt? Or is there any way to see what’s happening in the outside world? I’d love to see more about what the military’s involvement really is because people often ask me how it happened and that’s too big of a question for me. That’s above my pay rate!
What would you like to see in a Walking Dead companion series? Hit the comments below with your thoughts. Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on AMC.
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