While the end of The Walking Dead television series doesn’t appear to be on the immediate horizon, series creator Robert Kirkman recently revealed that he knows how the popular, post-apocalyptic zombie drama will end.
“It’s a very popular show, and [AMC] seems to want it to go for 50 seasons,” he told Marc Maron during an interview on the comedian’s podcast. “It may go for 50 seasons, but there is definitely an end point at some point.”
For Kirkman, the story of The Walking Dead — both on television and in his long-running comic book series that inspired the show — has always been about a broad, narrative arc.
“The idea is that this story that’s longer than it has any business being,” he explained. “Watching those characters evolve over that time that’s going to 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!'”
“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,” he continued. “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.”
Asked whether a “cure” for the zombie virus is something he’d ever consider introducing to the series, Kirkman played coy, insisting that whatever resolution the series comes to should make all the events of the series up to that point seem worthwhile and relevant.
“Maybe [we’ll solve the zombie problem]. You never know,” he said. “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.'”
With spinoff series Fear the Walking Dead premiering next month, Kirkman also addressed the possibility of more tie-in and spinoff projects that explored the ramifications of the zombie plague in different areas of the country — and even outside U.S. borders.
“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,” he said. “We’re doing this Walking Dead spinoff and if it does well, I’m sure we’ll do Walking Dead: China eventually.”
Fear the Walking Dead is scheduled to premiere August 23 on AMC.