With the cast and crew of AMC's The Walking Dead already in a deep-dive production-wise on the tenth season, life in the Walking Dead universe has become a lot like the NFL: neither have off-seasons anymore. Last season bid farewell to Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and hello to a strong ensemble cast (and a "Big Bad" fronted by Samantha Morton in an award-earning turn as Whisperers leader Alpha). In doing so, series EP/showrunner Angela Kang did the near-impossible: made the show feel fresh and dangerous again. Meanwhile, spinoff Fear the Walking Dead charged into a fifth season with Austin Amelio's Dwight and a storyline tying directly with the upcoming Rick Grimes film trilogy. Reports that the second Walking Dead spinoff series (co-created by TWD CCO Scott M. Gimple and showrunner Matt Negrete) had started were officially confirmed.
Entertainment Weekly is running daily reveals leading up to Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC): so far, we know comic book character Dante will transition to the small screen, efforts are underway to bring Lauren Cohan (Maggie) back to the Walking Dead universe, and that the big themes for this season will be propaganda, paranoia, and PTSD.
Today? Our first official image of Michonne (Danai Gurira), going righteously badass on some walkers… while a fire blazes behind her?!? What's that all about? Kang offered some clues exclusively to Entertainment Weekly:
"One of the things that we have going on this season is, we're continuing some explorations of natural elements and how they play into our world. And fire is one of those elements that comes into play in a few key ways that twist the story in a way that will be pretty exciting."
As our heroes are trying to forge a new society with diminishing and limited resources, they will have to learn to contend with emergencies in new – and sometimes unique – ways: "We will definitely see our people trying to contend with things that they can't handle in the same ways that we do in our world now."
As for what's actually going on in the image above? Sorry, folks: there are too many "unexpected aspects" (Kang's words) to it for her to give up any intel. But if you are looking for even more info…
"The Walking Dead" returns to SDCC's Hall H on Friday, July 19, from 1 pm-2 pm. Joining Cudlitz for the event are cast members Norman Reedus, Melissa McBride, Danai Gurira, Ryan Hurst, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Avi Nash, Nadia Hilker, Eleanor Matsuura, and Cailey Fleming, along with Gimple, Kang, executive producers Robert Kirkman, David Alpert, Gale Anne Hurd, and Greg Nicotero. The panel will be moderated by Talking Dead host Chris Hardwick.
Also, Skybound confirmed earlier reporting that the second The Walking Dead spinoff series (co-created by TWD CCO Scott M. Gimple and showrunner Matt Negrete) has cast Alexa Mansour (Madame Secretary), Nicolas Cantu (The Good Place), and Hal Cumpston (Bilched) to star in the next chapter of the Walking Dead universe, which follows two female protagonists with a focus on the first generation to come-of-age in the zombie apocalypse.
Mansour's character is a good-natured rule breaker who lives for today. She is likable and funny on the outside but sad on the inside. Cantu's character is small for his age in addition to being friendly and an old soul. He also has a black belt in karate. Cumpston's character is big for his age. He is a shy loner that scares some kids, but he hates the fact that he scares people.
AMC's "The Walking Dead" Season 10
Speaking of the upcoming tenth season, as Lincoln assumes the helm on an episode for the first time while speculation over just how much of a role Michonne will have this season continues to grow. Of course, there's continued buzz over Lauren Cohan's Maggie returning in some capacity – especially now that ABC's Whiskey Cavalier appears to have shuffled off the programming coil and still hasn't found a home.
As we mentioned earlier, Cudlitz is back this season to direct – and an earlier post with Cailey Fleming (Judith) melted our hearts and reminded us that we do – in fact – have the capacity to feel. Cudlitz then followed-up that post with an image that got arenaline raging as he joined Norman Reedus (Daryl) and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Negan) to reassure fans that "these fuckers are killin' it" in his episode:
The Walking Dead is expected to return to AMC in October 2019, with filming currently underway. Fear the Walking Dead currently airs on Sunday nights at 9 p.m. ET, with production on the second spinoff series currently underway in Virginia.
Heading into season 5 of Fear the Walking Dead, the group's mission is clear: locate survivors and help make what's left of the world a slightly better place. With dogged determination, Morgan Jones leads the group with a philosophy rooted in benevolence, community and hope. Each character believes that helping others will allow them to make up for the wrongs of their pasts.
But trust won't be easily earned. Their mission of helping others will be put to the ultimate test when our group finds themselves in unchartered territory, one which will force them to face not just their pasts but also their fears. It is only through facing those fears that the group will discover an entirely new way to live, one that will leave them forever changed.