2019 has been a solid year for The Walking Dead, and from the sounds of things 2020 is going to be another year to remember.
"Right now 2020 is a really big year for the universe in general, and the shows," showrunner Scott Gimple said at WonderCon earlier this year. "It's the beginning of our next decade so we're kicking off in style."
Add the fact that season nine has been seen as a return to form by fans and critics alike (even if overall ratings are down) and 2019 may be remembered as a significant turning point for the franchise.
But what do we know about the spin-off that's coming next year? Glad you asked!
Here's everything you need to know.
Walking Dead spin-off 2020 air date: When will it be on?
It's good news, folks. The new spin-off, which will be directed by Kong: Skull Island's Jordan Vogt-Roberts, will definitely air in 2020. The Walking Dead writer and producer Matt Negrete has jumped onboard as showrunner.
As for when, that's another story. With the original series having locked down October (every single season has aired during that month), and with Fear The Walking Dead generally airing in summer, that leaves January to April, or December as the likely drop-date for the new spin-off.
We'd advise marking December in your calendar but there also needs to be room for the first Rick Grimes spin-off movie (which we'll get to in a moment).
Walking Dead spin-off cast: Who's in it?
Annet Mahendru (Tyrant, The Americans) and Aliyah Royale (The Red Line) will play protagonists Huck and Iris.
Deadline also reported that The Punisher actor Joe Holt has been cast as Leo Bennett, a "solid family man and respected professor". He has been described as having a "generous heart and unwavering optimism for the future", and someone who will "risk his life to save the people he cares about".
He's going to need it.
Other cast members include:
- Nico Tortorella (Scream 4, Younger, The Following) as Felix, an "honourable man of his word who isn't afraid to fight for others' safety and acceptance".
- Alexa Mansour (Unfriended: The Dark Web) as Hope, "a good-natured rule breaker who lives for today. She is likeable and funny on the outside but sad on the inside".
- Nicolas Cantu (The Amazing World of Gumball) as Elton, "small for his age in addition to being friendly and an old soul. He also has a black belt in karate".
- Hal Cumpston as Silas, "said to be big for his age. He is a shy loner that scares some kids, but he hates the fact that he scares people".
Walking Dead spin-off plot: What will it be about?
With a pilot script in place and 10 episodes planned, we've actually got some very solid information about what the spin-off will be about.
AMC chief Josh Sapan outlined the premise. "With its focus on the next generation of survivors led by two young female protagonists, we think this third series is a perfect gateway to advance the narrative of this universe in ways that are multi-generational, fresh and unexpected," he said.
"Some will become heroes. Some will become villains," AMC has teased. "In the end, all of them will be changed forever. Grown-up and cemented in their identities, both good and bad."
So, it sounds to us like The Walking Dead meets Young Adult fiction, which could work. AMC will be hoping it does – it's part of its overall plan to keep the (very profitable) series going for decades.
Will Rick Grimes be involved?
Of course there's the slightly awkward matter of the trilogy of Rick Grimes movies, which are also said to start airing next year. Unless Fear The Walking Dead is cancelled, that means we'll have FOUR Walking Dead properties airing in 2020.
And Andrew Lincoln is itching to stick his sheriff's hat back on. That's according to Norman Reedus anyway. "It's funny because I talked to Andy the other day, and he was like, 'Man, I picked the wrong time to leave the show because it's so f**king good right now,'" he told Entertainment Weekly.
With Rick’s current situation in the comics best described as 'complicated', telly might soon be the only way fans will be able to experience new stories about their favourite character.
So how does this tie-in to the new spin-off show? Well, there's a chance we could see Rick popping up on the series.
"It's a rare thing," Scott Gimple said. "It's not gonna happen like this a lot. But I will say there are different sorts of crossovers we are going to do to tie the shows together, tie the universes together in certain ways that have to do with the greater happenings in the world.
"In telling stories of the past we might see characters interact, or just see those characters we've not seen in a while."
Walking Dead spin-off 2020 trailer: When will we see it?
We don't yet have the official trailer for the spin-off series, but a teaser trailer was shared back in July featuring different cast members and concept art.
"What if you grew up in a world of safety and you decided to leave to discover the truth of who you are and what the world really is?" they ask.
"Growing up, there have been things going on in The Walking Dead universe since the very start of the story, all happening over all these years, in other places we haven't seen with people we haven't seen. With the dead we haven't seen.
"But we'll see it all this spring. A new world of The Walking Dead."
Watch it below.
As for the full-length trailer, it'll launch at one of the Comic-Cons, but it all depends on when AMC are planning to fit the series into their packed broadcast schedule.
As soon as it does arrive, we'll drop it into this feature, along with any other new information – so keep us bookmarked.
Until then, enjoy the upcoming season 10 trailer.
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