The Walking Dead ended its eleven-season run last fall, but AMC has yet to fully say goodbye to its main characters. The Walking Dead universe has continued to live on after the franchise’s Chief Content Officer, Scott Gimple, announced a string of spinoffs, exploring other parts of the zombie-infested world.
Most recently, The Walking Dead: Dead City debuted its six-episode first season to stellar reviews and a swift season two renewal. Some reviewers claim the show has been a breath of fresh air in the TWD universe, something AMC hopes to continue with its next upcoming spinoff, The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon.
Following the return of Daryl (Norman Reedus) in The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon, The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live, will be the next spin-off and features the long-awaited return of Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln). The show will finally reveal where the Civic Republic Military took Rick Grimes after his mysterious disappearance at the beginning of season nine, along with the return of Michonne (Danai Gurira) and her search for Rick.
With multiple seasons slated for all three TWD spin-offs, some may wonder what the ultimate resolution may be for the overall arc of The Walking Dead universe. Let’s take a look at where things may be headed for the future of these spin-offs.
[Waring: Spoilers discussed below for The Walking Dead: Dead City and The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon]
The Walking Dead: Dead City
AMC could not have asked for a better launch of their latest The Walking Dead spin-offs after Dead City premiered its first season with raving reviews and a quick renewal for season two. The show ended with a bit of a twist, something I honestly was not expecting for season one. I applaud AMC for taking a bit of a risk with this series.
The end of Dead City season 1 leaves Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) in a familiar role as the new leader of the Dama’s pseudo-post-apocalyptic mafia in New York City. Back at the Hilltop, Maggie (Lauren Cohan) has safely retrieved Herschel in exchange for Negan, something that clearly seems to be weighing heavy on her conscience. The end of the first season has left the door wide open for a number of possibilities in season two and beyond.
The second season will likely pick up with Negan being reinstalled in a position of power within the Dama’s New York City army. It also will pick back up at the Hilltop with Maggie and Herschel’s (Logan Kim) fractured relationship. Reintroducing the Hilltop, a long-time The Walking Dead location, introduces the possibility of reintroducing some old characters from the original series. The Walking Dead has always had an enormous cast, so if they choose to reintroduce some characters they will have a large field to choose from.
I expect season two to expand the lore of what post-apocalyptic New York City looks like, along with showing some more iconic NYC locations. Negan will likely be dealing with some internal conflict throughout the season. He will have to decide whether he wants to revert to his old Negan ways or continue to be the remade version of himself from the final seasons of The Walking Dead.
The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon
This is where things get a bit fuzzy in terms of how clear the road ahead for The Walking Dead franchise is. The question looming over this series is what exactly is Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) doing in France? The trailer for The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon essentially does not answer that question as it mainly begins with him washing ashore on the beaches of a foreign country.
Throughout the trailer we mainly see him interacting with other French characters and exploring a post-apocalyptic France. The scenery and cinematography look beautiful, as the show appears to have shot mainly on public landmarks throughout the countryside of France.
So what may have brought Daryl Dixon to France? More than likely, Daryl has washed ashore accidentally. We last saw him leaving the Commonwealth in the series finale after Judith Grimes (Cailey Fleming) informed him that Rick may be alive. Daryl left in pursuit of Rick to bring him and Michonne home to his family and friends. Somehow, during his pursuit of Rick, Daryl ended up in France.
In the trailer, he says “a bunch of bad decisions” is what caused him to end up across the Atlantic Ocean. The trailer ends with Daryl speaking over a radio exclaiming “If I don’t make it back, I want him to know I tried, hell I’m still trying.”
The most recent revelation about this story is that Melissa McBride will return as Carol Peletier in the show. Whether this is filming for season one or season two has not been confirmed by the trades. Set photos along with confirmation from Jeffrey Dean Morgan reveals that Melissa McBride has been doing some filming in France with Norman Reedus before the SAG-AFTRA strike. Given the fact that they are shooting in France and not on a sound stage at the studio in Georgia likely means that McBride has joined the show in a series regular capacity.
The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon debuts on September 10th only on AMC and AMC+.
The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live
The most anticipated spin-off of the franchise is the long-awaited Rick and Michonne series titled The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live. The upcoming series will reintroduce the longtime protagonist of The Walking Dead, Rick Grimes, after his exit from the series in season nine.
At first, fans had no idea where Rick had swiftly been lifted off to other than the fact that a helicopter with three rings on it had taken him away. Shortly after Rick’s exit, Michonne discovered that Rick Grimes was still alive during the second half of season ten and departed from the show to find him and bring him home.
AMC ordered the production of a limited two-season show titled The Walking Dead: The World Beyond which eventually was revealed to partially be centered around the location Rick Grimes is being held, known as the Civic Republic Military.
The Ones Who Live is expected to heavily focus on the reunion of Rick and Michonne while setting up a much larger conflict for the entirety of The Walking Dead universe. At the moment, no other previous Walking Dead cast members have been confirmed to appear and the rest of the main cast has been kept fairly under wraps outside of Lesley-Ann Brandt.
It can be assumed the first season will likely be partially about Rick’s time in the CRM during the many years he’s been gone. Immediately after Rick’s exit The Walking Dead did a major time jump of about six years, this gives the show a copious amount of time to explore what Rick has been up to. I’d expect Rick and Michonne to reunite by the end of season one, as anything longer than that may wear some fans out.
The bigger picture for The Walking Dead universe
While AMC decided to branch out into different areas of The Walking Dead universe, I believe there is an end goal in sight. While it’s a simple theory, I believe they could be taking a page out of the Avengers playbook. Since Rick was whisked away in that mysterious helicopter, AMC has been setting up the Civic Republic Military as the “final boss” of The Walking Dead universe.
The Ones Who Live will not only be a show about Rick and Michonne, but it will also give the audience a greater insight into the CRM and how they operate. From what we know so far they are much larger than any threat our main group has faced.
How do Dead City and Daryl Dixon play into this? Starting with Negan and Maggie, the course of Dead City is likely to see Negan and Maggie eventually wind up as the sort of “overlords” of New York City with an army at their disposal. It’s safe to assume throughout numerous seasons the future plot will involve a resolution to the overall arc between Maggie, Negan, and Herschel. Once that strife is resolved and New York City is now under the control of Maggie and Negan, they’ll be able to assist Rick and Michonne in the larger war against the CRM.
Similar to Dead City’s arc, I believe Daryl and Carol’s time in France will not only further their evolution of them as characters, but it will also provide them with new allies. It’s clear from what we know about The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon that Daryl’s overall goal is to locate Rick and bring him back to his family. His time in France will more than likely be a way to give the character more time in the spotlight on his own with Carol before they return back to the USA to continue their overall goal. I’d expect they are likely to bring some newfound allies back with them that could assist them and become new mainstay characters in communities like Alexandria and The Commonwealth.
Overall, I expect the universe to have its come-together moment eventually somewhere down the line. Multiple times we have heard rumors of a potential The Walking Dead movie that would end the story of the universe.
It’s clear for now these three spin-offs may continue on for numerous seasons depending on how well they perform with ratings. Once all these shows reach their calculated end, then I believe we could potentially see an Endgame type of scenario for The Walking Dead universe. Whether it be in a limited series or a movie remains to be seen.
Are you excited about the newest The Walking Dead spin-offs? Let us know on social media or in The Cosmic Circus Discord!