AMC planning to expand The Waking Dead with TV spinoffs and films
Are you ready for more The Walking Dead? AMC sure hopes so. The network revealed to Bloomberg a 10-year plan that will expand the popular zombie apocalypse series into something akin to the Star Wars universe — i.e., feature films and numerous TV spinoffs. While the show, which is entering its ninth season, feels like it’s winding down, what with Rick’s much hyped departure, it seems The Walking Dead is really just getting started.
“We have a plan that goes well into the future,” Chief Executive Officer Josh Sapan said at a Sept. 12 conference, without offering specifics.
Now, all AMC needs is a partner to help take on the enormous venture, something the company is actively seeking at the moment. Per the report, AMC has talked to several large media companies about partnering on projects, which would apparently cost upwards of several hundred million dollars.
This, despite The Walking Dead’s decrease in popularity over the last several seasons that saw viewership drop from 19 million to 11 million during the most recent season. Even so, the series remains an extremely popular cash cow for AMC in “dozens of countries,” which has allowed the company to “double revenue over the past five years through ad sales, fees from pay-TV providers and deals for reruns.”
In other words, even Negan can’t stop this gravy train.
Last season brought the culmination of “All Out War,” which pitted Rick Grimes and his group of survivors against the Saviors and their cunning leader, Negan. With Negan’s life in his hands, Rick had a character-defining choice in front of him. By making the unilateral decision to spare Negan, Rick upheld the values of his late son, Carl, championed in order to build for the future, but created conflict within his group.
Now, we see our survivors a year and a half after the end of the war, rebuilding civilization under Rick’s steadfast leadership. It is a time of relative peace among the communities as they work together, looking to the past to forge the future, but the world they knew is rapidly changing as man-made structures continue to degrade, and nature takes over, changing the landscape and creating new challenges for our survivors.
As time passes, the communities confront unexpected obstacles, danger, and of course, walkers, but nothing quite prepares them for the formidable force they are about to encounter, which threatens the very idea of civilization that our survivors have worked so hard to build.
The series stars Andrew Lincoln (Love Actually), Norman Reedus (Blade II), Lauren Cohan (Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries), Danai Gurira (Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War), Melissa McBride, Lennie James, Alanna Masterson, Josh McDermitt, Christian Serratos, Seth Gilliam, Ross Marquand, Austin Amelio, Tom Payne, Xander Berkeley, Khary Payton, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan.
Newcomers to the series include Ryan Hurst as Beta, Samantha Morton’s Alpha from the comics, Lauren Ridloff as comic book character Connie, with Eleanor Matsuura as Yumiko from the comic series, and Fantastic Beasts star Dan Fogler in an undisclosed role.
Based on the comic book series written by Robert Kirkman and published by Image Comics, The Walking Dead reigns the number one drama on television among adults 18-49 for the last six seasons. The series is executive produced by chief content officer Scott M. Gimple, showrunner Angela Kang, Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, David Alpert, Greg Nicotero, Tom Luse and Denise Huth.
The series will return on October 7 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT at AMC.