One of the most common complaints about the Marvel Cinematic Universe is that it's not accessible to new fans due to the sheer volume of films and TV shows released over the past 15 years. It's daunting for someone to jump in and consume all of that media in order to catch up with the entire story. And frankly, most people don't want to do weeks' worth of homework just to understand a new series or movie.
However, just like the medium that birthed the Avengers, the Defenders, the Runaways, and the rest of the House of Ideas' stable of characters, it's not necessary for a fan to seek out a character's complete history to enjoy any given story arc in most cases. If I'm reading a line-wide crossover comic book event like "Civil War" or "Secret Invasion," I could simply pick up the main title to get the story. Although, if I choose to dig deeper and further into the world where these events are taking place, then I could branch out into the various tie-ins. But there's nothing that says I would have to read the tie-ins in order to enjoy the flagship title by itself.
The same thing applies to other comic book adaptations because that seems to be the approach that most creative teams are taking with franchises like the Arrowverse, "The Boys" on Prime Video, or AMC's "The Walking Dead." With the latter ending their main program after 11 seasons, Scott M. Gimple and his team are looking ahead to the next chapters beyond the group of survivors discovered by Rick Grimes all those years ago, beginning with the upcoming series "The Walking Dead: Dead City." The producer recently addressed the issue of accessibility when it comes to those shows.
It's A Hell Of A Town
/Film's own Vanessa Armstrong was recently in attendance for the franchise's presentation at the Television Critics Association's 2023 winter tour. "The Walking Dead" Chief Content Officer Gimple and "The Walking Dead: Dead City" showrunner Eli Jorné were on hand for the panel and were joined by stars Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Lauren Cohan to discuss the first spin-off being released after the end of the main series.
When asked how easy it would be for new fans to jump in if they don't know the lengthy history between Negan and Maggie, Jorné assured viewers that everything they need to know will be revealed "very quickly." Morgan chimed in that knowing about their previous trials and tribulations would certainly help, but the writer emphasized that it wasn't entirely necessary. Jorné explained:
"It's a new world. That's part of the fun of New York. I feel like we all grow up thinking about what it would be like to go to New York. There's a little bit of that magic in this show. Two people … characters that have never been there and going there for the first time. I think in that way the show gets to reinvent itself. Their relationship is their relationship and the history is going to be really rich and promise a lot of story and emotion, but also it's a new world with new characters, new survivors, new walkers. Everything. There's so much that's new that anybody can jump in and should."
If You Can Make It There
While Jorné focused on how the past affects "Dead City," Gimple continued by sharing that this was the approach for the other shows focusing on Norman Reedus' Daryl Dixon and the duo of Rick and Michonne. It has essentially been their approach to storytelling for some time. He elaborated:
"We want to honor fans that have been there for years, but we don't want to keep anybody out. Certainly, you can start any of these shows and if you know the history, it's a rich experience. If you don't know the history, you'll find out those references. There are people that show up in the show that are deep into their apocalypse identity. Even Negan when he showed up. Or Alpha. Or some of the other survivors. We didn't tell their pasts and they were compelling. And then we got into their pasts because they were interesting years down the line. That's what we want to do with these new shows. If people stumble upon these iconic characters, they would know that they're iconic without knowing the last 13 years of their lives."
To take this a step further, the approach that Gimple is sharing is nothing new on TV. When Dr. Frasier Crane moved to Seattle after "Cheers" ended, viewers were able to jump right into Kelsey Grammer's new show, "Frasier," with no prior knowledge of the psychiatrist's escapades in that little Boston bar. All the important details were revealed when they needed to be. The same can be said for other famous spinoffs like "Mork & Mindy," "Star Trek: The Next Generation," "Legends of Tomorrow," and "Family Matters." But we'll see how the general public feels when "The Walking Dead: Dead City" premieres at some point in June 2023.
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The post You Don't Need to Know The Walking Dead to Enjoy The Walking Dead: Dead City, But 'It'll Help' appeared first on /Film.