Always growing. Since The Walking Dead premiered on AMC in 2010, viewers have been looking forward to all the different takes on the zombie apocalypse.
The horror series, which is based on a comic book series written by Robert Kirkman, introduced fans to a group of survivors. Their attempts to stay alive during the constant threat of attacks from zombies captured people’s attention for nearly a decade.
In November 2022, The Walking Dead came to an end — but not before using its finale to set up the future of the franchise. The last episode ended in a hopeful place as the Commonwealth entered a period of peace. Fans were surprised when the finale offered a glimpse at previously departed Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Michonne (Danai Gurira).
Executive producer Angela Kang praised the source material for allowing The Walking Dead to end on a high note.
“Robert Kirkman’s vision of the comic is it closes a chapter and then another door opens. Because in some ways, it’s the zombie story that never ends,” she told Variety at the time. “That sense of things are still happening in the background, and not everything has been fixed. But neither is it just sort of a nihilistic view of the world, where all these people try to survive for years and then fail. The intent is to close the chapter, but then, let people feel like there’s another turn to the story.”
According to executive producer Scott Gimple, the plan to check in on Rick and Michonne was in the works for a while.
“Andy and Danai and I’ve been working on that story for so long, we knew it inside and out,” he explained. “And we were just choosing the right place within that story, to get to the thematics that we needed to conclude the Walking Dead. What is the point of their circumstances, that shows them needing the strength that they draw from each other.”
Gimple continued: “We weren’t vamping. People will learn all about everything they see there. All will be revealed. The story behind the armor that Michonne is wearing is important. What Rick is doing is critical to his story and what he hears from the helicopter. There’s a real world that we got to peek into that people will have to live in several months.”
Kang noted that Lincoln didn’t want his appearance to overshadow the legacy of The Walking Dead, saying, “Andy was really clear, he did not want to be the last thing that the show ended on. He felt like that was not correct, because he had left. There were a lot of people working on it for a long time with different angles with good intentions and good faith.”
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