Based on Robert Kirkman's Image Comics line, the main series of The Walking Dead has been a ratings giant for the network. Joined by prequel series Fear The Walking Dead in 2015, it sounds like the zombie outbreak isn't ending just yet. While fans may be used to seeing the scorched backroads of Georgia and Virginia, Nicotero wants to tackle his own arctic apocalypse.
Speaking to FANDOM, Nicotero revealed what he wants from a possible spinoff, confirming that he wants to try something new for the series:
“The one thing that the comic book does great [is] when they introduce the cold weather and the winter. I had even written some webisodes that took place with a frozen zombie herd. And I think that our hopes are — my hopes — would be that we would get into an entirely different location, like a cold weather scenario. Because frozen zombies are f–ing awesome. Until they thaw out and then you’re screwed. Because they would freeze and thaw out, and they would be fine.”
Various The Walking Dead execs have teased that the show could move beyond the confines of America and maybe even reach into Europe like Kirkman's spinoff comic The Alien. When asked if he wants the next show to remain in the USA, Nicotero teased that he wants to go further afield:
“We’ve done a good job of allowing our audience to populate the US and I think there’s a lot more opportunities outside of the US for a zombie show.”
Snowy zombies are nothing new, with movies like Dead Snow and Resident Evil: Retribution already giving their own take on the idea. Also, with popular horror movies like The Thing trapping human survivors in a snow-topped landscape, an isolated setting in colder climes is proven to be a truly terrifying place. While the comics brought winter to the apocalypse as early as Issue #5, fans have never seen winter on The Walking Dead, so maybe Nicotero and co. are saving it for a spinoff series?
Ultimately, the recent decline in popularity of the main show proves that The Walking Dead isn't what used to be and may need some fresh meat to reinvigorate audience hunger for the franchise. That being said, The Walking Dead is still a ratings giant, and with AMC hoping that the show could continue for decades, no one knows how many shows will have joined the franchise by that point.
Over the years, the comics have given enough storylines based in winter for readers to easily see how this could transition into a show of its own. The end of the world is bleak enough, but throw in some extreme weather conditions and the plight of the human race gets even worse. Scott Gimple has been promoted from TWD showrunner to oversee all of AMC's content based on Kirkman's world, promising that upcoming spinoffs won't be as simple as Fear's prequel premise. Whatever happens, it sounds like Nicotero isn't quite ready to put The Walking Dead on ice just yet. Perhaps fans should look out for Freeze The Walking Dead coming to AMC soon.