The Walking Dead is ending after eleven seasons in 2022, but folks can rest assured that they’ll be seeing more of at least two fan favorites after the parent show’s conclusion. Norman Reedus and Melissa McBride are set to lead an as-yet untitled spinoff series that will follow Daryl and Carol as they take off together to explore the country, helping out where they can. And though the project has been in the works for a while, it originally would have forced the pair to leave TWD.
Reedus revealed to EW that the concept was first discussed during filming on the season 9 finale. The actor explained that he pitched an idea about Daryl and Carol having their own spinoff, something that producers showrunner Angela Kang and chief content officer Scott M. Gimple were responsive to.
“Angela and I started talking about it during the episode Greg [Nicotero] directed with the snow. I remember that we started talking about it then,” Reedus said. “I was pitching these ideas, ’cause it was kind of like ‘After eight years really, where do you see this show going?’ And I had an idea, and I kind of threw it out there, and we talked about it a lot.”
Reedus added that Kang and Gimple were “kind of thinking the same thing on the side as well.” The writers then put their heads together to work on this idea and, at a later time, Reedus got the confirmation that it was happening. “They were talking about it, and then years later I got the call that we might be doing it, and I was like, ‘Great!'” he said.
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Here’s the thing, though. The spinoff was originally conceived as running alongside the parent series, so Daryl and Carol would have been pulled out of TWD, making them another couple of long-running stars that the show lost along the way. The plan was for them to come back every now and again to check in on their friends, though, and Reedus revealed that it eventually came as a shock to find out that the flagship would be ending soon.
“I didn’t know the flagship show would end,” Reedus said. “The whole thing was we would take off and we’d come back and check in and we would take off. So I didn’t know that was going to happen. And to be honest, I was hoping that would never happen because, you know, that’s the mothership. I’m scared to leave the mothership. That’s scary new ground… I mean, I’m excited for the spin-off and I’m excited for the type of show it will be, but I didn’t see that coming. That kind of came out of nowhere.”
We don’t know much about the show right now, but the pair did talk about potentially leaving their home behind in the recent season 10 finale, which must’ve been a deliberate set-up for the spinoff. It’ll be one of two series we know will follow on from The Walking Dead as well, alongside anthology project Tales of the Walking Dead.