Even though the show is on its annual mid-season hiatus, AMC’s The Walking Dead remains as popular as ever, with many fans eagerly awaiting the February 9 return. In the interim, you’ll have to satiate your appetite on a seemingly endless supply of news. One of the only things we haven’t heard much about lately is the proposed spinoff that the network announced last year, leaving many to wonder about the status of that project. But now we have new information on where exactly that series is in the development process.
AMC president Charlie Collier and head of programming Joel Stillerman sat down with Vulture and dished on, among other things, where things stand with the new addition to the Walking Dead family. The series is definitely in the process, and the network has no plans to change that anytime, but at the same time, they don’t appear to be in any rush to crank something out.
When asked if the show has been given the green light, Stillerman’s only response is, “It’s still in development.” Collier’s answer goes a bit more in depth, saying, “What we want to do is not diminish the mothership. What we want to do is find something that everyone involved feels as passionately about as being a unique vehicle and unique enterprise as compared to the original series. We’ll take our time, and we’ll do it right.”
It’s good that the network is taking their time instead of churning something out for the sole purpose of cashing in on the popularity of The Walking Dead. Most of us, fans of the show or not, aren’t in any hurry, and if it takes longer, but the finished product is better, that will only benefit everyone. No one needs another crappy zombie property, we’re already up to our necks in those.
Talking about the impetus for the spinoff, Collier says:
[I]f you have the No. 1 show on television — not just on cable, but television — and the guy at the core of the show and who literally created the source material [Robert Kirkman], says, “I think there’s more story to tell.” You say yes.
He also refers to his choice as a “simple decision” and a “no brainer.” Part of the reason for the delay is that Kirkman is just super busy. Stillerman says, “Robert has some things on his plate. He continues to write every issue of the comic and hasn’t finished season four of The Walking Dead, which he is very intimately involved with and will continue to be.” He adds that the show is “really in the incubation stages” as far as development is concerned.
From the look of things, this new show is Kirkman’s baby. Stillerman continues:
He [Kirkman] has such a specific vision that he laid out really clearly in the first issue of the comic book. And I encourage anybody who’s interested in the show to go read the note that he wrote in the first issue of the comic. His motivation for telling that story was so clear and so powerful, and it served as such a great north star for the show. We kicked around a few ideas, but primarily what he’s working on is, what is the idea that gives [him] as clear a mandate to make another version of this show as [he] had for the first one? What is going on [now] is a more philosophical discussion over why there should be another version of the show. Once we answer that, we’ll zero in on the specific creative.
This interview doesn’t provide much concrete detail except that the offshoot of The Walking Dead is still in the works, and that it will likely be quite some time before we have the chance to see it for ourselves. Again, we’d all rather them take it slow and make something worth a damn instead of hammering out trash and filler. Who knows if they are actually any specifics or if there is just a broad, overall concept at this point.