Robert Kirkman, creator of The Walking Dead and executive producer of forthcoming limited event series The Walking Dead: World Beyond, says the “really unique” spinoff created by Scott Gimple and Matt Negrete opens up a “different type of world within the world” of the expanding Walking Dead Universe. Set in Nebraska and taking place a decade into the zombie apocalypse, World Beyond introduces a new community of sheltered survivors — sisters Hope (Alexa Mansour) and Iris (Aliyah Royale), and new friends Elton (Nicolas Cantu) and Silas (Hal Cumpston) — that is left behind when the teens set out on a cross-country rescue mission sparked by a message about the girls’ father, Leo Bennett (Joe Holt).
“I’m really excited about World Beyond because it’s going to deal with a different type of character, and to a certain extent, a different type of world within the world of The Walking Dead,” Kirkman told Hey Fandom! during a live streamed Q&A. “This is a group of teenagers that have lived within a safe haven inside the world of The Walking Dead, and they’re now venturing out. So we’re going to kind of experience the world of The Walking Dead that we’re very familiar with through new eyes.”
Other new eyes include Felix (Nico Tortorella) and Huck (Annet Mahendru), more experienced survivors who act as security for the Nebraska university campus repurposed as a post-apocalyptic community home to nearly 10,000 people. The Campus Colony is in close contact with the Civic Republic Military, or CRM, the shadowy organization that secretly rescued-slash-abducted Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln).
“It’s going to be a really unique show that I’m very excited about, and it’s going to premiere on a date later to be determined at this point because the world sucks,” Kirkman added, referring to the coronavirus pandemic that earlier delayed the World Beyond series premiere once scheduled to trail the similarly postponed Season 10 finale of The Walking Dead. Both episodes were intended to air back-to-back on Sunday, April 12.
Characters introduced in World Beyond are not pulled from Kirkman’s since-ended comic book series that ran for 193 issues between 2003 and 2019. The common name for walkers in World Beyond is “empties,” a little-used term that did appear in Kirkman’s comic book zombie saga.
Unlike the Virginia-set Walking Dead or the Texas-based Fear the Walking Dead, the scope in World Beyond is much larger: during a previous appearance on Talking Dead, Tortorella said “Walking Dead and Fear deal with this universe in local news, and right off the bat with World Beyond, we’re dealing with national news.”
Audiences will also see “a lot” of the black-suited CRM soldiers and more of those familiar helicopters that have appeared in both Walking Dead shows, easily recognized by three-circle symbols representing three different civilizations.
For the first time, viewers will “get to really meet who’s in those helicopters and where they’re coming from,” Tortorella said.
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