Scott M. Gimple, the co-creator of the new “The Walking Dead” spin-off series “The Ones Who Live,” said he hopes to be able to reunite beloved franchise characters like Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), Michonne (Danai Gurira), Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus), Negan Smith (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Maggie Rhee (Lauren Cohan) in an epic series crossover.
“There are so many things with this universe that I plan and put together, but I also know that God laughs, and you have to pivot to something else,” Gimple said. “I absolutely have been working towards that and hoping towards that, but we’ll see what happens. It might be a version of it that no one expects.”
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Gimple revealed his coveted, long-term franchise goals at the spin-off’s premiere at the Linwood Dunn Theater in Los Angeles. Series leads Lincoln, Gurira, Lesley-Ann Brandt (“Lucifer”), Terry O’Quinn (“Lost”) and Craig Tate (“Snowfall”) joined Gimple at the red-carpet event.
Andrew Lincoln and @DanaiGurira at the @WalkingDead_AMC premiere of “The Ones Who Live” — a spin-off series that continues Rick and Michonne’s story, set after the events and finale of the OG series 🧟♂️ pic.twitter.com/ThiySz0LNR
— Diego Ramos Bechara (@DRamosBechara) February 8, 2024
“The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live” is the sixth spin-off series from “The Walking Dead” universe. It takes place after the events and finale of the original series, which ended its 12-year run with the 11th season series finale in November 2022.
It picks up where the original series left off, with Rick and Michonne fighting through endless hordes of the undead and hoping to make their way back to each other after being separated in the Season 9 finale.
The series finale revealed that Rick was still alive, whisked away by a Civic Republic Military helicopter and taken to a faraway city, and with Michonne having left the show in Season 10 to find him, the spin-off series will now continue their stories — finally reuniting one of TV’s favorite post-apocalyptic couples.
“This is the ultimate love story; this is the apocalypse meets an epic love story, and we didn’t really get a lot of space for that in the mothership because there were so many other stories going on at the same time, but this story is all about, does love win out in this world?” Gurira told Variety.
When talking about Michonne’s arc and the journey the series will have her undergo, she said: “[Michonne] steps into a world that is not what she’s ever been accustomed to: she can’t be herself, she’s not where she expected to be and is not dealing with what she expected to deal with. Did she pivot? Can she pivot? That’s what we’re going to be exploring.”
For her part, when asked which “The Walking Dead” cast member she would have loved to star alongside again, Gurira emotionally replied with Scott Wilson. Wilson’s character, Hershel Greene, died in the Season 4 finale — Wilson himself died from leukemia in 2018 at the age of 76.
In talking about the series’ endurance and everlasting presence, Gimple attributed that to the fans’ love of the series and the resonating depth of the characters. “These characters always face questions that I think audiences ask themselves: What would I do in that situation? Those are the things that make people connect with the characters and make them want to keep watching,” he said. “This show is an excellent example of that, and I hope fans resonate with that.”
“The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live” debuts on AMC and AMC+ on Feb. 25. The show is executive produced by Gimple, Lincoln, Gurira, Denise Huth and Brian Bockrath.
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