What’s next for ‘The Walking Dead’ universe?

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It all started with former sheriff’s deputy Rick Grimes waking up to the zombie apocalypse, and now it’s ended with… well, that would be spoiling things, wouldn’t it? But yes, you read that correctly: The Walking Dead is about to end its 12-year run on the air with the conclusion of its 11th and final season, which airs in the US on Sunday (November 20).

But if you’re worried about how you’re going to get your regular fix of the undead from now on, don’t despair: The Walking Dead is set to rise again. As well as the ongoing spin-offs Fear Of The Walking Dead and the not-yet-cancelled Tales Of The Walking Dead, there are plans well afoot for the continuation of the TWD franchise in the form of several new projects – meaning that hordes of walkers will continue to fill our screens and/or nightmares for some time to come.

Here’s what’s coming next from the twisted world of The Walking Dead

How many shows currently make up The Walking Dead universe?

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There are two spin-off Walking Dead series on the air – but more are planned

With the original series about to wrap up, that means that only two TWD shows – the aforementioned Fear Of The Walking Dead and Tales Of The Walking Dead – will be currently active.

Fear… wrapped up its seventh season back in June, but filming on season eight is already well underway in Savannah, Georgia (marking a relocation from Texas) and a 2023 air date is expected.

Season eight will “kind of reinvent the show a bit,” director and executive producer Michael E. Satrazemis said on companion show Talking Dead: The Walking Dead Universe Preview 2022 special back in August. “Getting a brand new palette to work with, visually, and a lot of that kind of low-country, beach areas as a background, that’s something that our characters [will] navigate.”

Colman Domingo as Victor Strand in ‘Fear The Walking Dead’. CREDIT: AMC

The anthology series Tales Of The Walking Dead, which featured “six original life-or-death, high-stakes stories of survival with an all-star cast of both new and familiar characters set against the walker apocalypse”, debuted in August before wrapping up its run in September. There’s been no word yet, however, on whether a second season of Tales… has been green-lit by TWD’s network AMC.

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It’s also worth noting here that spin-off The Walking Dead: World Beyond, which debuted in 2020, ended its intended two-season run back in December 2021. “It’s not like, ‘Oh, we’ll see what happens in season 6,’ or whatever. We’re going to go two seasons. It’s going to be 20 episodes total,” World Beyond showrunner and co-creator Matt Negrete told EW in 2020. “It’s challenging, because there’s a lot we need to fit in those 20 episodes. But, at the same time, it’s great to approach it knowing what you’re working towards.

So what’s coming next in The Walking Dead universe?

A host of familiar faces are fronting new projects…

The original TWD series may be no more, but that doesn’t mean that we’re done with our characters just yet.

Let’s start our round-up with The Walking Dead: Dead City, which will star Lauren Cohan and Jeffrey Dean Morgan reprising their roles as Maggie and Negan respectively and roaming the zombie-infested streets of… New York City? The frenemies are set to reunite in the new Eli Jorné-helmed series, which will air in April 2023 and “envision Maggie and Negan travelling into a post-apocalyptic Manhattan long ago cut off from the mainland,” according to an official description from AMC. “The crumbling city is filled with the dead and denizens who have made New York City their own world full of anarchy, danger, beauty and terror.”

You want more? Well, how about another spin-off from the original TV series that focuses on everyone’s favourite crossbow-toting biker Daryl? Titled Daryl Dixon, the action will cross the pond to France as Daryl (played by Norman Reedus) somehow winds up in Paris following the events of The Walking Dead. The big question of “how on Earth did Daryl get to France in the middle of a zombie apocalypse?” will be addressed, apparently: “[Daryl] wakes up and finds himself somewhere on the European continent and tries to piece together what happened,” AMC president Dan McDermott said recently of the new show’s premise. “How did he get here? How’s he going to get home?”

While Clémence Poésy and Adam Nagaitis have both been cast as the leads of the new show opposite Reedus, one actor who won’t feature is Melissa McBride, who plays Carol in TWD. The spin-off was initially set to focus on both Daryl and Carol, but McBride dropped out of the project back in April as “relocating to Europe became logistically untenable for Melissa”. However, Reedus has teased that “familiar faces” will return in Daryl Dixon, which is set to premiere in 2023.

And last but not least, it’s the long-awaited Rick & Michonne series. First announced all the way back in 2018 as a series of movies, the six-episode project – which will reunite Andrew Lincoln and Danai Gurira (who is also credited as a co-creator and co-writer) in their titular roles – has since been scaled down to a spin-off TV series that will be set in a previously-unexplored new location.

Billed as an “epic love story”, a synopsis for Rick & Michonne reads: “This series presents an epic love story of two characters changed by a changed world. Kept apart by distance. By an unstoppable power. By the ghosts of who they were. Rick and Michonne are thrown into another world, built on a war against the dead… And ultimately, a war against the living. Can they find each other and who they were in a place and situation unlike any they’ve ever known before? Are they enemies? Lovers? Victims? Victors? Without each other, are they even alive — or will they find that they, too, are the Walking Dead?”

Production on Rick & Michonne will begin in January, with the show becoming the third TWD spin-off that’s set to debut in 2023. The end of The Walking Dead? Some might say it’s only just beginning…