Walking Dead: Dead City showrunner Eli Jorné talks spinoff details

Lauren Cohan as Maggie Rhee - The Walking Dead: Dead City Season 1 - Photo Credit: Peter Kramer/AMC
Lauren Cohan as Maggie Rhee - The Walking Dead: Dead City Season 1 - Photo Credit: Peter Kramer/AMC /

The Walking Dead: Dead City will be the first new spinoff within TWDU that will release in 2023. Dead City will see the return of Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and be vastly different from the flagship series. Showrunner Eli Jorné discusses some of these differences during the Television Critics Association’s 2023 winter tour, which Cohan, Morgan, TWD COO Scott M. Gimple, and newcomer Gaius Charles also attended.

Jorné is a Walking Dead veteran who wrote three episodes from season 10 of The Walking Dead. He will write four of the six episodes of season 1 with Keith Staskiewicz, and Breanna Kouf will write the remaining two.

Dead City will take place in apocalyptic Manhattan, where Maggie and Negan will embark on a mission to save Maggie’s son Hershel, who has been kidnapped. The city is overrun by a walker horde one million strong, and the duo will face new survivors and a new type of walker.

Walking Dead spinoff Dead City

Jorné assured fans everything they need to know about how and why Maggie and Negan partner on this mission will be revealed early in the series. He also stated that Dead City is being designed so that knowing the pair’s back story isn’t necessary to follow the new series. Morgan, who was also in attendance at TCA, stated it does help to know some of the history of this pair.

The showrunner also stated that this series is an exciting chapter in TWDU because “it’s a new world with new characters, new survivors, new walkers.” Viewers have never seen these two characters in a setting like New York City, adding to the excitement of the series.

Gimple added that all of the new spinoffs are their own thing; new viewers can watch these series without knowing the history of each character. He used examples of Negan and Alpha’s (Samantha Morton) introduction in The Walking Dead, where viewers didn’t know their back story immediately, but it was told in snips as the story unfolded.

Another interesting comment from Jorné is when he compares Dead City to the movies Escape from New York and The Warriors. Both films depicted NYC as a wasteland overrun with criminals where the city is cut off from the rest of the US. Imagine either of those moves with the undead thrown in, which might be what viewers see in this new series. That is exciting!

Dead City was initially announced for an April 2023 debut but has since been moved to June. This will be preceded by the premiere of Fear the Walking Dead’s season 8 on May 14, 2023, which has been announced as the last season of this series.

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