The apocalypse is canceled until further notice. Just because The Walking Dead protagonist Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) is on his way out in season 9, that doesn’t mean the franchise machine is going to stop any time soon. In fact, beyond the deal AMC is reportedly drawing up to make Norman Reedus the new star of the show, the network is also actively developing a plan to keep The Walking Dead on our screens for at least 10 more years.
According to Bloomberg, AMC is currently meeting with media companies for a potential partnership that could bring original Walking Dead movies and spinoff series to streaming services and/or other networks. At the moment, AMC already licenses out the streaming rights for The Walking Dead to Netflix and Fear the Walking Dead to Hulu. These new deals could help finance tons more original zombie content, which will cost several hundred million dollars to make.
AMC’s hope is to produce several movies that could then branch out into their own series, according to Bloomberg. At least one of these projects could take place outside of the United States, which has so far been the setting of both Walking Dead shows and the comic book by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard.
Overseeing these projects is former Walking Dead showrunner Scott Gimple, who was named the franchise’s chief content officer in early 2018. Gimple, who has been telling stories in this universe since 2011, is in charge of exploring new narrative paths for the franchise. AMC is keeping a tight lid on the potential apocalypses brewing, though.
As for the flagship series, it’s unclear if Lincoln’s exit and the declining ratings mean that the show is on its way out. At the very least, after nine seasons of zombie storytelling and a revolving cast of main and supporting characters and villains, the show is showing signs of its age. If the show were to come to an end, could the franchise continue to live on in its memory? AMC certainly seems to think so.
We’ll keep you updated as we learn more! Until then, The Walking Dead season 9 premieres on Oct. 7 at 9 pm on AMC.