AUSTIN — The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman blurts out that “one day The Walking Deadwill end.”
And the series’ executive producer David Alpert sounds as if he just choked on a Texas-fried brussel sprout. “Don’t say that!” he exclaims.
So as to not put too much of a scare into fans, Kirkman recants a bit. “It’s a long arc. I don’t anyone to ever get the impression that it’s like, ‘Oh, this is popular so I have to keep this going for years and years’,” he said. “I definitely know the story that we are telling and I know how the story that we are telling ends.”
Meanwhile, the stories are expanding for Kirkman and Alpert, who are holding court in a downtown restaurant here during South By Southwest.
A Walking Dead spinoff TV series is in the works and their company Skybound Entertainment, which is celebrating its fifth anniversary, has its first film out soon, too. Actor Norman Reedus, who plays Daryl on The Walking Dead, co-stars with Djimon Hounsou (Guardians of the Galaxy) in Air, a film out this spring, that Kirkman and Alpert produced.
As “the janitors of the apocalypse” they wake up every six months to do maintenance on their crew’s hibernation pods, Alpert said. “This time when they wake up and something has gone wrong. So we follow these two guys as they try to save the world.”
There’s more: Another of Kirkman’s comics Outcast is being made into a Cinemax TV series and there’s a new action-oriented Walking Dead video game being planned.
Kirkman, who continues to write The Walking Dead, which began in 2003, will be at the center of these ventures, too. “Because we kept me the guy who knows all the ins and out of The Walking Dead universe at the center of things, I think it makes that product better,” he said. “That’s the thing we are trying to do on a much larger level moving forward.”