The world of The Walking Dead just got a lot bigger. On the heels of Andrew Lincoln’s departure from the AMC flagship series and the subsequent announcement that the series star will next headline a trilogy of AMC films, Skybound has revealed a the latest expansion in the zombie franchise that will bring the zombie apocalypse to China. Skybound Books will release a new novel called The Walking Dead: Typhoon from The Lives of Tao and Time Salvager author Wesley Chu.
Per The Hollywood Reporter, the novel will center on a group of survivors “banding together against a wave of walkers in the most populous country in the world,” and will be published in 2020. The Walking Dead has gone overseas once before in the one-shot comic The Walking Dead: The Alien, which travelled to Barcelona, Spain.
“Our goal at Skybound Books has been to give novelists the same creative platform and freedom to tell engaging genre stories that we already have in place across comics, film, television, and games,” says Skybound senior VP and editor-in-chief Sean Mackiewicz. “Plus, after 15 years, we’re about to answer one of the biggest questions The Walking Dead fans have had since the beginning: what’s happening to the rest of the world? That we can expand The Walking Dead universe with talented authors like Wesley Chu will allow walkers to truly become an even greater global phenomenon than ever before!”
The new novel is just one of the planned expansions for The Walking Dead brand, including the new Rick Grimes-led TV movies and the brand’s chief content officer Scott M. Gimple has big plans to spread the zombie plague across all kinds of media platforms. “Over the next several years, we’re going to be doing specials, new series are quite a possibility, high-quality digital content, and then some content that defies description at the moment,” he said in a recent interview with THR. “We’re going to dig into the past and see old characters. We’re going to introduce new characters and new situations.
Regional zombies are an interesting idea, and for its narrative faults, The Walking Dead’s makeup and effects team have consistently raised the bar for zombie designs over the years of the show. It will certainly be interesting to see if these new expansion start looping back around on each other — could we get a Typhoon mini-series or TV movie adaptation somewhere down the line? I would certainly love to see a zombie story unfold in the stunning nature and architecture of China. I mean, the Terracotta Army is practically begging for a zombie set piece and just try to tell me you don’t want to see a horde of zombies trudging across the great wall of China as far as the eye can see.
For now, we can look forward to reading what kind of story Chu comes up with, but it’s absolutely an intriguing idea and it bodes well for the creative direction of a franchise that’s been verging on stagnant.