‘The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Lived’ Is First And Foremost A Love Story, Says EP And Stars

‘The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Lived’ Is First And Foremost A Love Story, Says EP And Stars

Danai Gurira stars in “The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Lived.”

Courtesy: AMC Networks (Gene Page)

The crew noticed it first, but the magnetism of two characters didn’t slip past Scott Gimple.

At the time, Gimple was a writer/producer on The Walking Dead.

He noticed that there was something about the characters of Rick and Michonne.

“In season two, I would have these dreams, these wishes, these things I wanted to do in the story. Rick and Michonne was one of them that I just kind of quietly alluded to. I remember on set [thinking] this is going somewhere,” explains Gimple.

The Walking Dead, which featured the survivors of a zombie apocalypse trying to stay alive, ran for nine seasons. Now comes a continuation of the story with The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Lived.

Gimple, who is now an executive producer and the showrunner on the series, says that these six episodes will answer the questions fans have been asking for years: where is Rick Grimes and will Michonne find him?

The series stars Andrew Lincoln as Rick with Danai Gurira as Michonne. Lesley-Ann Brandt, Terry O’Quinn, Matthew August Jeffers, and Craig Tate round out the cast.

Gimple admits that Gurira knew something was up. “I remember on set, Danai was like, ‘I see what you’re doing.’ and ‘I was like, ‘Shut up. Let’s not say it out loud.’”

The latest narrative in the TWD universe will,” have those same story values [as the mothership], which really puts the characters front and center, and puts emotion front and center,” says Gimple.

However, Gimple does feel that, “This show was harder [to put together] because this was about two people who are soul mates, but their souls have been a little beaten up by the world, and a lot of time had passed. And they had to find each other, but they also had to find themselves.”

Lincoln says that, “This has been a long time coming, this story. Essentially the DNA of the original series was a man in search of his family, and that DNA is very much in this story, but we wanted to make it a bit more operatic and, hopefully show what the grownups have been dong while we’ve been scrambling around in the dirt for, you know, ten years.”

Her character, says Gurira, “Definitely is going through quite a journey in the series. There are ways that she has to pivot and adjust that she does not expect. The journey to find her man is not an easy one. She’s gone through a lot and that’s made her very closed off. [Now] she’s opened up again and we’ll see what happens.”

She adds that the love, “is working against an apocalypse that has created systems that shouldn’t be there but have but have sprouted up due to it. So, I think those two driving factors define the story.”

While this type of narrative — an epic love story — is one that Gurira was wanted to be a part of since nearly the beginning of The Walking Dead, “[We] don’t get to really explore a ton on the mothership. There’s just no space for it. So, this was really honing in on, [the thought of] ‘okay, when love is the driving force, when it’s the propelling thing in a show, when it’s actually the thing that’s making the plot move, what does that look like?’”

‘The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Lived’ airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC, and is available for streaming on AMC+

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