In the last season of ‘The Walking Dead,’ we were introduced to a new short story titled ‘Red Machete’ whose primary focus wasn’t a character but the object that the season was named after. Director Avi Youabian worked with writer Nick Bernardone to give the backstory of the machete which was used to kill Gareth from Terminus.
In being able to bring the story to life, Youabian shared:
“This was something that was two years in the making. It was a narrative that [executive producer] Scott Gimple wanted to be told. He essentially said, “Give me an episode that is not a Walking Dead episode, but something that lives in the same universe.” We pitched multiple versions to Scott, and ultimately Nick cracked a killer story that was a purely visual narrative. It was a story that was challenging in that we didn’t have any dialogue at our disposal.”
We’ve seen plenty of short stories like this told on commercial breaks for ‘The Walking Dead’ and Bernardone feels that the series is ripe for more:
“I think people want to see more flavor that they don’t quite get to see on the show. For example, the show takes place in Atlanta and D.C., and there’s obviously certain types of folks that we’ll come across around there, but this [virus] to our understanding, is happening all across the country, if not the world. I think viewers all across the world want to see different demographics and different types of people that maybe we wouldn’t come across on the show—and more bite-size stories.
Because some people don’t make it that long, and some people don’t get to have fully fleshed-out stories sometimes. Their stories are just blips in time that keep on moving. Using this prop from the show as a conduit to seamlessly pass through all different types of people on the journey was an opportunity that something like the 44-minute narrative of the show couldn’t quite tackle, given the format.”
Honestly, I think if ‘The Walking Dead’ did release another spinoff that they should go with an anthology route that does dig further into the world that Robert Kirkman created. They could avoid significant locations to not mess up with any long-term continuity stories and even give us tales from around the world.
As for one of the installments being animated, there were a couple of solid reasons that they went that route as Bernardone shares:
“The exciting reason is that this is the first time ever that we get to see that flavor of the comic aesthetic combined with the show aesthetic. For the first time, we got to see an interesting tip of the hat to how this all started—as a graphic novel.”
As to what the future of these narratives could be?
“I think folks want to see a bit more of folks that either have already passed on the show, or folks that we haven’t spent enough time with. As I believe Scott Gimple has teased in the past, we’re going to see more of these kinds of things and unique ways to tell stories that aren’t so strictly narrative-based.”
It sounds like some of the actors whose characters have died on the show will have more chances to come back for a brief moment in the spotlight.
Are you excited for the fact that we might be getting more short stories set in ‘The Walking Dead’ universe? Would you prefer they go with completely original characters and locations or further flesh out what we’ve already seen? Share your thoughts below!