There will be more than few noticeably new elements to the forthcoming AMC series The Walking Dead: World Beyond, a spinoff of The Walking Dead focused primarily on the generation of teenagers who survived the zombie apocalypse seeing in the original series and its first spinoff, Fear the Walking Dead, as well as the new world which has formed out of that life-altering event. Ahead of World Beyond‘s debut in April, The Walking Dead chief content officer Scott M. Gimple is opening up about how the spinoff ties in to the two preceding series in the franchise, how the show plays with the franchise timeline, and what kinds of crossovers fans can expect.
Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Gimple first clarified how well World Beyond‘s timeline would match up with the timelines in TWD and FTWD. “Technically, [World Beyond is] a little behind. But not much. Not enough for people to notice,” Gimple shared with the magazine, and then clarified how much further behind in time this new show’s timeline really is: “It’s very, very close to being simultaneous, but a little bit back, yes. Not in any way that anyone will possibly notice.”
Gimple went on to explain how World Beyond will tie in to previous Walking Dead series, touching on specific instances from past episodes which hinted at the world we’re seeing in this new spinoff.
“We’re going to be discovering this very big aspect to the world that we haven’t yet seen. We’ve seen glimpses of it on the shows with the helicopters and with the soldier that we saw, Isabelle on Fear. The movie does obviously touch upon some of that mythology as well as Rick being in one of those helicopters. In some ways, World Beyond, it’s a big story and yet it’s sort of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to Rick’s Hamlet, meaning the show and the movie touch upon some of the same things, but they’re not really that deeply related.”
When asked about whether there will be crossovers on World Beyond with TWD and FTWD, Gimple was equal parts vague and in-depth, hinting that there are definitely conversations behind had about crossovers since these shows all exist within the same universe (“There might even be a big aspect of crossover with one of the shows. That’s the other part of it is we have these plans, but we’ve got to execute them.”) and went on to remark,
“They do share a universe, so where there are opportunities, we want to take them. Even with that album cover [with Ryan Hurst’s Beta appearing on Fear the Walking Dead], it was so funny. I mean just by virtue of the fact that there was a scene with all these records in it, and we knew this shared aspect, we didn’t even want to make that big a deal of it. We just wanted it to exist in there so that people might, deep cut-wise, we were hoping one or two people might notice into the future. We didn’t want to make as big a deal about it. It’s just nice, even unto ourselves, between the shows to feel that it’s one world.”
So, that’s what we have to work with at the moment. Confirmation of plans for crossovers to happen, even if they’re more sly than overt, plus intentions to keep honoring what’s been established on TWD and FTWD while also making sure World Beyond is entirely its own show since it takes place in a Nebraska community, a place far away from the ones we’ve seen before. Gimple’s comments hint at a spinoff with the potential to revive the Walking Dead franchise and yes, I’m all in on it.