Matt Negrete, a veteran writer on the flagship, will serve as showrunner on the 10-episode series he co-created alongside franchise chief content officer Scott M. Gimple.
On Monday, AMC formally announced that it has picked up what is now the third series in the zombie drama’s larger world with a 10-episode order for an untitled drama co-created by Gimple and longtime flagship writer Matt Negrete. The latter, who has been a writer and producer on The Walking Dead for the past five seasons, will serve as showrunner. Coincidentally, Negrete and Gimple collaborated on the season nine episode (“What Comes After”) that served as the last one for series star Andrew Lincoln, who will reprise his role as embattled former sheriff Rick Grimes in three movies. It’s unclear if the new spinoff will be connected to those movies. It’s unclear if any characters from either The Walking Dead or spinoff Fear the Walking Dead will have a role in the third series. Stars and fan favorites Norman Reedus (Daryl) and Melissa McBride (Carol) have “franchise deals” that allow them to move freely between all corners of the universe, for example.
“I’m beyond excited to be a part of this new show set in The Walking Dead universe,” Negrete said. “Writing and producing for the original series has been the job of a lifetime and I’m honored to be working with Scott and all the fine Dead folks at AMC in this new capacity. I can’t wait for the fans of the franchise to see what we’ve been cooking up!”
Few details were immediately available about the third series other than that it will feature two young female protagonists and focus on the first generation to come-of-age in the apocalypse as viewers know it. Production will begin in the summer in Virginia for a 2020 premiere on AMC. The Lord of the Flies-like series will feature a new corner of the world. Here’s AMC’s formal description: “Some will become heroes. Some will become villains. In the end, all of them will be changed forever. Grown-up and cemented in their identities, both good and bad.” The order arrives as the original series introduced (and, spoiler alert, killed off) several younger characters in season nine.
“Showing audiences an unseen pocket of The Walking Dead universe steeped in a new mythology is a very cool way to celebrate a Decade of the Dead on TV and over 15 years of [creator] Robert Kirkman’s brilliant comic,” Gimple said. “Matt Negrete is one of the best writer-producers in TWD’s long history — I’m thrilled to be working beside him to tell stories unlike we’ve seen before, taking our first step into an even larger world.”
The untitled Negrete series is the first new series to stem from Gimple’s March 2018 promotion to chief content officer, a role he was given after Kirkman moved his overall deal from AMC to Amazon. Gimple and Kang wrote Lincoln out of the flagship drama so the actor could spend more time with his family at home in England. Gimple will re-team with Lincoln for three TV movies that will air on AMC and could potentially serve as back-door pilots for other series. Production on those is set to begin in 2019 though its unclear just where they will be filmed. TWD is filmed in Atlanta, while spinoff Fear the Walking Dead has used locations in L.A., Canada, Baja and Texas. Overall, there are now three scripted series and planned three stand-alone movies in the world of TWD as franchises increasingly become valuable to broadcast, cable and streaming platforms alike.
“We’re thrilled that the Dead will keep walking into a new corner of the post-apocalyptic world, a corner that will present stories and characters unlike any that The Walking Dead has dramatized thus far, and that is bound to excite one of the most passionate fanbases in television,” said David Madden, president of programming for AMC Networks and AMC Studios. “Scott has been an invaluable leader for the universe since taking on the role of chief content officer, with a distinct and innovative vision for the franchise. Likewise, we’re excited to have Matt, who has been a crucial part of The Walking Dead family for over five years and penned many memorable episodes of TWD, at the helm of this original series.”
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