Caution: Spoilers ahead for the The Walking Dead comic series
After The Walking Dead's comic series was brought to a sudden end, AMC have reassured fans about the fate of the TV adaptation. In the previous issue of Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead, Rick Grimes was shot and killed in a shocking and brutal twist, reaffirming the franchise's theme of no character being safe from the chop. At the time, Kirkman claimed that his series would continue without its former protagonist and said that he hoped fans would stick around to see what The Walking Dead had in store for the next part of its story. As is standard practice, Skybound Entertainment even released cover pages for the upcoming few issues.
In an unprecedented move, however, it emerged yesterday (July 2nd) that the following day's issue was actually the final ever installment of The Walking Dead, acting as an epilogue to the main story and featuring a lengthy letter from Robert Kirkman explaining his motivations for ending the series and for keeping its conclusion a secret from readers. The final issue, #193, jumps forward many years into the future, and features an adult Carl Grimes in a world that has mostly forgotten the fear of being under constant threat from the undead. The chapter focuses heavily on the legacy of Rick's character, but also touches upon the problems that the resurgence of civilization has created.
After this surprise ending, AMC have moved to reassure fans that the ending of the comic books will not affect their The Walking Dead TV adaptation, which is currently in production on its tenth season. In a statement (via The Wrap), the network states:
“This extraordinary comic created a world that already lives in multiple forms, and in the hearts and minds of millions of fans around the world, and will for many years to come.”
Although The Walking Dead's comic and live action incarnations have been largely separate entities for a long time at this point, this is an important clarification to make because of the AMC show's falling ratings in recent seasons. Despite lower viewership and Andrew Lincoln's departure, AMC are evidently seeking to expand The Walking Dead as a franchise, with movies and further spinoffs currently in the works. It appeared that Kirkman's comic book series was also a major part of that plan, so the shock reveal that the story's printed medium was ending naturally cast doubt on the other projects attached to the brand.
AMC's statement leaves no doubt that these concerns are unwarranted and, unlike Kirkman's successful deception, it appears that the announcements AMC have made regarding The Walking Dead's future are completely genuine. While the end of the The Walking Dead comics may not signal the end of the TV show, it will have an unavoidable impact on the narrative. Even though the two mediums follow separate paths, the AMC series still adheres to the rough outline set by the comics. Without those guidelines to light the way, AMC's The Walking Dead will be wholly responsible for coming up with future arcs.
The Walking Dead season 10 is expected to premiere in October 2019.
Source: The Wrap