Robert Kirkman Has Already Figured Out How ‘The Walking Dead’ Will End

'Walking Dead' Ending: Robert Kirkman Wants

AMC’s “The Walking Dead” is in no danger of ending any time soon — but it’s reassuring to know that creator Robert Kirkman has a plan in mind for the day the blockbuster zombie show finally breathes its last.

“It’s a very popular show, and [the executives at AMC] seem to want it to go for 50 seasons. And it may go for 50 seasons, but there is definitely an end point at some point,” Kirkman told Marc Maron during a visit to the comedian’s WTF podcast. “The idea is that this story that’s longer than it has any business being, but it’s that length and watching those characters evolve over that time that’s gonna make it be this piece, that when it’s all done, you’ll look back on it and be like ‘what the hell, I thought they were just killing zombies. There’s totally an arc here and a thing going on, and I didn’t think the story was about this!'”

Maron queried whether Kirkman would ever consider solving the “zombie problem” altogether, and Kirkman mused, “Maybe. You never know. I do hope that ‘The Walking Dead’ goes on long enough that when it ends, it’s like, ‘good thing we took care of those zombies.'”

While that optimistic outlook may seem at odds with the show’s tone, that’s by design, according to Kirkman: “People talk about how ‘The Walking Dead’s’ very bleak, and if you take a certain cross-section of the story, yeah, it’s horrible. People [are] getting their loved ones eaten and they’re having a horrible time. But I see the story from beginning to end, over many, many years, so I think it’s a very hopeful story about humanity overcoming this insurmountable, apocalyptic situation … it’s just gonna take them a long time to do it.”

In a recent Reddit AMA, Kirkman admitted that the comics still had plenty of stories left to tell. “I do plan on doing at least 300 issues, but if I’m having this much fun then I won’t stop there,” he wrote. “Also, if I suddenly start having a lot LESS fun, I may end it earlier, but I don’t see that happening. I’m in for the long haul, and [artist] Charlie Adlard is too.”

As far as the show is concerned, executive producer Dave Alpert noted at the 2014 Produced By conference that the writers have plotlines mapped out through season 12, if AMC opts to continue it that long. “I happen to love working from source material, specifically because we have a pretty good idea of what season 10 is gonna be,” he said, according to IndieWire. “We know where season 11 and 12 … we have benchmarks and milestones for those seasons if we’re lucky enough to get there.”

And the series is in no danger of catching up to the comics any time soon, Kirkman told Maron.

“I’m in the writers’ room — we always start the season by picking a chunk of the comic to adapt. We’re moving pretty linearly with the comics nowadays. Issue 75 of the comic was coming out when the show started, and the stuff that’s in issue 75 was adapted in the finale of season five. So starting with season six, we’re adapting the comics that were coming out post-the existence of the show,” he pointed out. “We’ve got 144 issues out. We sit down at the beginning of every season and go, ‘we’re gonna adapt from here to here’ of the comic, and then we go, ‘how does Daryl Dixon fit into this’ because he’s not in the comic; ‘how does Carol fit into this’ because she died way earlier in the comic; ‘what do we do with all the important storylines with Andrea’ because she died in the show and is still alive in the comic. … There’s a lot of new stuff that gets put into the show.”

When asked about the possibility of investigating how the zombie outbreak is affecting life in other countries, Kirkman offered, “We may eventually explore that, but to me, it’s about finding water, it’s about building a fence — when you make it bigger, that’s when it gets less interesting to me.”

Still, he wouldn’t rule out the potential for further offshoots, depending on the success of the upcoming companion series “Fear the Walking Dead,” quipping, “We’re doing this ‘Walking Dead’ spinoff and if it does well, I’m sure we’ll do ‘Walking Dead: China’ eventually.”

“The Walking Dead” season six premieres at 9 p.m. Oct. 11 on AMC. “Fear the Walking Dead” season one premieres at 9 p.m. Aug. 23 on AMC.

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  1. Manoli says:

    PS: the first episode of season 7 was a bit sad but nevertheless the best so far in my opinion. Well done!!

  2. Manoli says:

    Congratulations on a very successfull show! I d like to know if the spin off series will ever collide with the original one,or if characters from one show would appear on the other. For example how Negan started his empire or who he was before that.Thanks in advance and keep up the good work!!

  3. Ryan says:

    Add some supernatural crap or something like that. That should make it more interesting. Like maybe demons taking control of the Walkers’ soulless bodies and using them to scorch the earth? And then once everyone’s dead they can take over.

    • Vin says:

      So you want to ruin it? Longevity is currently killing it. You cant keep dragging it out season after season as it will be diluted. They cant help milk a cash cow just like they always do, so why not inject some more bs as well! That will be the death knell for the show, perhaps giving the long awaited finale to the show. Yeah, maybe its a good idea after all!

  4. Brian says:

    I absolutely love this show. My friend said he’s not interested in it because he feels that it should’ve been a movie and not a long drawn out tv series. But I love it and hope they have many more seasons to come. What I like about the show is it is not afraid to kill off major characters. I also like to see how each character has evolved over time. Rick is a much different person now than when he started the show. I see him now trying to regain some of his humanity but what do you expect these characters to be like after all they have seen and all they have lost and all they have had to do just to survive. I just love it. I hope it goes on for a very long time.

  5. Colton says:

    This is what’s making me very nervous. They’re going by the comic book season after season (as they should be) but Kirkman himself is saying that he’s planning at least 300 issues, and the TV show WILL NOT make it near that number, so the BIG question is: How does the TV show end? It won’t be able to end the same way as the comic book (unless Robert Kirkman has his final storyline in his mind already and is going to use that storyline for the final season of the show). I want this show to go 15-20 seasons, but that most likely isn’t going to happen. I really wish it would, but you would HAVE to get these actors (Lincoln, Riggs, Danai, Cohan, etc.) that play these integral characters, locked down in a contract. Because, do you really think these actors are going to want to show up to the same set, with the same people and the same writers and directors after TEN years? I hope they make it as long as they possibly can, and I think the show will still be very popular during it’s final seasons (probably not AS popular as it is now but…).

  6. Joel says:

    Why do people who hate TWD and now hate FTWD feel compelled to litter comments sections week after week with the same I-hate-everything-about-the-show-but-still-watch-every-week-for-all-5-seasons. I don’t watch shows I don’t like. Seinfeld, I did not like that show, so I didn’t watch it. I took a pass on watching it, hating it, and then hating on it every chance it came on or mentioned. Everybody wins. Nobody likes hater comments, find a show you like, don’t watch tv at all, but just go away and take your hater ways with you.

  7. Stia says:

    Everybody had such a negative opinion when they first heard about “Fear” coming out. I mean die-hard-loyalty-to-Rick and the other characters on TWD type opinion. Just calm down, I said, and think about it like another installment of Law & Order. That got a smile.

  8. Pollo says:

    In other words, they’re going to milk it out for as long as possible. Look at shows like True Detective and Breaking Bad. You don’t need some drawn out story to be good. By the time we reach the end, will any of the original characters remain? Is what’s trying to be told really warrant such a long story? What is the theme? Humanity’s decline into savagery as civiliation ends? Ok. I got that out of seasons 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. Season 6 will just be “more people dying. Talk about survival….and that’s it”. That’s all its been. That’s all it looks like it’ll keep being. I get it. Humanity becomes barbaric when pressed. The Governor and the Cannibals pretty much represented this theme and I’m sure season 6’s villain will too.

    And the show doesn’t even follow it’s own rules. We see the zombies decaying as the show progresses, yet they’ve lasted two years in the heat and cold. They should be bones by now. And yet they somehow manage to take down a full grown man with muscles. My grandpa is still alive and he needs helping getting up.

    I could excuse it all if the story wasn’t such a bore. We predicted everyone who would have died seasons 4 and 5. Some guy we hardly knew getting screen time kissing an established character? Looks like he’s gonna d-and there he goes

    This is the adult equivalent of children’s cartoons. Drawn out stories whose sole purpose is to sell more merchandise and ad time on AMC. AMC will keep drawing out the story if it means keeping this goose laying golden eggs. Walking Dead the T shirt. Walking Dead the video game. Walking Dead the dog tags. Walking Dead the figures. Merchandising.

    • Greg says:

      Zombies kill a bunch of people, the survivors find a safe zone, things look hopeful, the safe zone is compromised by crazy people and zombies, main characters die and are replaced by other stragglers, they flee safe zone, they kill zombies while on the run, lose another character, survivors find a safe zone, things look hopeful, safe zone is compromised, blah, blah, blah….Lather, Rinse, Repeat

      We get it. The Zombie Apocalypse is bleak, dangerous, depressing, and it will last forever.

  9. Jedi77 says:

    Am I the only one who would like to see the Zombie Apocalypse explored from a government point of view?
    I know, it sounds like “Outbreak”, or “World War Z”, but I would like to see the story told about what the government did when it all happened. How they tried to build defences, who runs the country, etc.
    What did the White House do, where are the people in charge, are there any people in charge? Do state or federal military even exist anymore?

    I think instead of doing a companion show, the should have created event miniseries, that focused on specific plot points that needed telling. One could be the first season of the new show, focusing on the first 72 hours of the Zombies from a familys perspective.
    One could be the medical industrial complex or the CDC, and their attempts at creating a vaccine.
    One could be the response in Europe. Did the disease spred by land, air, sea?

    • I totally agree. That would be great. Taken the show to another level of how the government responded, what happened, etc. I don’t know why they didn’t go there instead of making another show just about another group of people trying to survive.

  10. Seph says:

    Well, the story continues over and over. That’s the reason why I am sitting around and thinking what will be the story for the next season. It was so exciting but I feel disappointing whenever there’s a good character died in every episode. I miss Hershel, Beth, Tyreese, Dale and Andrea. :( Still hoping that my favorite characters will be on the show as long as I want. Michonne, Glenn, Maggie, Sasha and Tara.

  11. mars says:

    I like its not exactly just like the comics, not for tv and not so predictable..change things up is a great thing.,,as for some charoctors in the comics i feel would be to over the top and to fakie like ezekiel with a bengal tiger..or the group who walks around with walkers skins on them and lives..and morgans not gonna survive with just that stick very long..keep it more like reality

  12. mars says:

    Walking deads best show in the world..if they keep rick as focal point it will do just fine, id keep maggie around, and at least one of ricks kids or both..maybe it would be cool if daryl kind of leaves for a seaon or two then reappears..maybe have two seperate groups for two or three years and they eventually all meet up..

  13. Sam Smith says:

    The Walking Dead blows. It has so many stupid plot holes in it that it drives me crazy and the acting is horrendous. I dont know how anyone can watch this garbage. It has to be one of the most boring shows ever created.

  14. dang If he got a new artist i would probably come back. The art has always been bad since like issue 10 when they switched, but its just to terrible for me to tell anyone apart anymore, outside of the really odd characters like Jesus and Ezekiel. Gave up before the time jump.

    • Ed says:

      I half-agree. I think the art definitely got worse when Charlie Adlard started drawing, seeing as Tony Moore is one of the best in the business, but I would hardly go as far as to call it “bad”.

  15. Gail says:

    please never end. ever. please go on for 12 seasons and then forever. i never want to be without this show.

  16. RS says:

    I love this show, can never get enough. My husband is a fan, and as of February 2014 my 60 yr old mother is a fan. So long as the story lines stay great and there’s plenty of people to watch, I think this show could go the distance.

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