AMC Networks’ plan to expand the Walking Dead franchise reportedly includes making multiple movies as well as more TV shows. After beginning life as a graphic novel, The Walking Dead first came to television in 2010 under the supervision of showrunner Frank Darabont. The series quickly caught on with horror fans and in later seasons became the highest-rated weekly drama on television, cable or network.
The Walking Dead has fallen on hard times in recent years however, seeing major ratings declines as well as receiving a lot of online backlash for the direction of its storytelling. Nevertheless, AMC plans to continue creating content built around The Walking Dead for some time to come. AMC Networks CEO Josh Sapan recently revealed that the company has a plan in place to keep the Walking Dead universe alive for ten more years.
Sapan revealed no specifics about AMC’s ten-year plan for The Walking Dead, but according to a new report by Bloomberg, those plans are very ambitious. Inside sources say that no only are more Walking Dead TV shows in the offing, there are also plans to make “multiple” movies built around the property. AMC Networks is reportedly seeking to partner with a major media company in order to cover the costs of producing these movies, which would run either on TV or streaming with an eye toward spinning them off into more series.
According to sources, another aspect of this plan would see a new Walking Dead series set somewhere overseas. Thus far, AMC has spun off TWD into Fear the Walking Dead, which started off being set in Los Angeles, but has since moved to various other locations including Mexico. TWD and FTWD have also swapped a character, with Lennie James’ Morgan shifting over from the main series to the spinoff. The Walking Dead has also been spun off into various other media including web series and online games.
In light of this report about the potential for future Walking Dead movies and spinoffs, it’s interesting to note the current state of the main show and what’s in store for the characters in season 9, which is soon set to debut. It’s been known for quite some time that TWD stars Andrew Lincoln and Lauren Cohan are both set to exit the show, meaning their characters Rick and Maggie are to be written off. Thus far however, there has been no confirmation that Rick and Maggie will actually die in the upcoming season. In fact, Lauren Cohan has flat out stated that Maggie won't die on the show. So, is it possible that AMC is deliberately keeping these characters’ fates open-ended with an eye toward bringing them back in some later spinoff or even as part of a Walking Dead movie?
Nowadays of course, every media company that owns a valuable brand will seek to spin that brand into as much content as possible. Disney has taken this concept to previously unimaginable heights with their plans to create multiple movies and series built around their most valuable franchises, Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For AMC, The Walking Dead is the big brand name that could potentially continue to be lucrative for years to come. With the main series seemingly beginning to peter out, it makes sense for AMC to look for other ways to keep that brand alive, including partnering with other media companies for potential movies and series.