AMC has revealed the main cast for the forthcoming third The Walking Dead series. Given the immense popularity and success of Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead, it came as no surprise that a spinoff, Fear The Walking Dead, was announced back in 2013 - the height of the parent show's popularity. Fear The Walking Dead has endured mixed fortunes both in terms of critical reaction and viewership, and has recently begun crossing over heavily with The Walking Dead forcing a soft reboot of the show, drafting in the likes of Morgan and Dwight, and continuing the mystery of Rick Grimes' helicopter disappearance.
Despite Fear The Walking Dead's issues, news emerged back in February that a third series in the franchise was being developed. Several months later, reports claimed this new zombie venture would be a female-fronted Walking Dead series but little else was known about the project, and with a Rick Grimes movie also in the pipeline, it seemed possible at the time that the two new offerings could be connected in some way. As fresh details have been released, however, that appears not to be the case.
Following the back-to-back Fear The Walking Dead and The Walking Dead panels at SDCC 2019, AMC announced (via THR) the primary cast for the third series in the Walking Dead franchise. Aliyah Royale will play a character called Iris and Annet Mahendru will portray Huck. They'll be joining Alexa Mansour (Hope), Nicolas Cantu (Elton) and Hal Cumpston (Silas). The currently untitled show will consist of 10 episodes and be directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts (Kong: Skull Island). Veteran The Walking Dead names, Scott M. Gimple and Matt Negrete are credited with developing this new project, with the latter acting as showrunner, and production is due to begin imminently ahead of a planned 2020 premiere.
The casting confirms the initial reports that The Walking Dead's new series would be female-fronted, but also reveals that the show will focus largely on younger characters, with most of the announced cast members in their teens or early twenties. Mahendru is the eldest of the bunch but the overall demographic is still markedly lower than both The Walking Dead and Fear The Walking Dead. While the idea of a younger group of survivors does bring a new angle to this third series, the impact of the zombie apocalypse on kids and adolescents isn't new territory for the franchise, with both shows broaching the topic previously.
There's also an argument to be made as to whether a third series is even warranted. Fear The Walking Dead has certainly had its high points but ultimately failed to become a ratings success under its own steam, requiring increased crossover with The Walking Dead. Despite the new, teen-centric angle, there's no reason to believe that problem won't carry over. There's only so much mileage in a zombie apocalypse, after all.
The third The Walking Dead series is set to premiere in 2020 on AMC.