After 12 years of keeping fans on the edge of their seats, The Walking Dead aired its emotional series finale in November 2022. However, the end of the original show is only the beginning for the ever-expanding The Walking Dead universe.
This week saw the premiere of the highly anticipated latest spinoff series, The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live, which focuses on the continued journeys of fan favorite characters Rick Grimes and Michonne. According to Scott M. Gimple, co-creator of The Ones Who Live, this is just the first step toward an epic crossover reunion special that would bring back more beloved characters from The Walking Dead lore.
At The Ones Who Live premiere event this week, Gimple revealed his hopes to reunite not only Rick and Michonne, but also Daryl Dixon, Negan Smith, and Maggie Rhee in a special crossover episode or limited series.
“There are so many things with this universe that I plan and put together, but I also know that God laughs, and you have to pivot to something else,” Gimple noted, acknowledging the unpredictability of long-term planning. “I absolutely have been working towards that and hoping towards that, but we’ll see what happens. It might be a version of it that no one expects.”
Andrew Lincoln and @DanaiGurira at the @WalkingDead_AMC premiere of “The Ones Who Live” — a spin-off series that continues Rick and Michonne’s story, set after the events and finale of the OG series 🧟♂️ pic.twitter.com/ThiySz0LNR
— Diego Ramos Bechara (@DRamosBechara) February 8, 2024
Bringing These Characters Back Together: Epic Storytelling Opportunities
A crossover reunion would present epic storytelling opportunities, especially when it comes to Rick and Michonne’s relationship. Gimple described their love story as “the apocalypse meets an epic romance,” one that they never got to fully explore on the original series.
According to Danai Gurira, who plays Michonne, The Ones Who Live will capture her character entering an unfamiliar world and facing unexpected challenges as she fights to be reunited with Rick.
Beyond Rick and Michonne’s romance, a crossover featuring fan favorites like Daryl, Negan and Maggie would allow viewers to catch up on these characters’ continued evolution after the events of The Walking Dead finale. It would be especially powerful to see Maggie come face to face again with Negan, the man who brutally killed her husband Glenn. Fans would surely tune in to see if and how these two broken souls find closure.
Ultimately, Gimple attributes The Walking Dead’s longevity and devoted fan base to the depth and relatability of its central characters. He hopes The Ones Who Live elicits the same connection by making viewers ask themselves, “What would I do in that situation?”
By bringing back more beloved characters for an epic reunion, the franchise can continue asking those provocative questions that make The Walking Dead resonate so powerfully across its sprawling universe.