The Walking Dead is coming to an end, but characters from past seasons could live again in Tales of the Walking Dead. The anthology spin-off series, in development at AMC Networks from Walking Dead Universe chief content officer Scott Gimple, is described by the network as “an episodic anthology with individual episodes or arcs of episodes focused on new or existing characters, backstories or other stand-alone experiences.” According to franchise executive producer Gale Anne Hurd, “almost everyone” who has lived or died on The Walking Dead wants to return to tell new tales in Tales of the Walking Dead:
“There are so many factors that go into storytelling and casting, but luckily almost everyone who’s ever been on the show wants to come back and have their story be told on Tales of the Walking Dead,” Hurd told Variety about the franchise extension coming after the upcoming final season of The Walking Dead.
Walking Dead veteran writer-producer Channing Powell will showrun the anthology series that Gimple says is more Twilight Zone than American Horror Story. Gimple envisions the spin-off as a “grab-bag” of one-hour episodes, each focusing on a different zombie apocalypse survivor from week to week — including characters who have already died on The Walking Dead or Fear the Walking Dead.
“We’ve left the door open to tell longer maybe multi-episode stories in the universe. We want to keep it really flexible. But to start out with, we want a bunch of very different stories where the audience isn’t going to know what to expect,” Gimple told TWDUniverse when revealing the latest update on Tales. “It goes back to those questions people have been asking about different situations, or what happened with different characters that we have had already, and then things that are just not related to anything we’ve told [in other series].”
This makes it possible for fan-favorite characters like Glenn Rhee (Steven Yeun) or the Governor (David Morrissey) to live again when Tales reveals never-before-told stories set “all over the Walking Dead timeline, and all over the Walking Dead Universe.” Characters who survive Season 11 of The Walking Dead might also continue on in Tales.
Gimple has not yet revealed which actors might reprise their roles in Tales, but there are hints former Fear star Kim Dickens will return as Madison Clark and one-time Walking Dead guest star John Carroll Lynch will reprise his role as Eastman. Ryan Hurst, who played Beta of the Whisperers on Seasons 9 and 10 of The Walking Dead, has teased a prequel unmasking more from his villain’s past; and Michael Cudlitz, who played the fan-favorite Abraham Ford, has all but confirmed his return in a new prequel tale crossing over with Fear.
Follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter for all things TWD Universe. AMC has not set a premiere date for Tales of the Walking Dead.