EXCLUSIVE: The Walking Dead wrapped up the first half of its ninth season just a couple of days ago, but the man behind the comic that the AMC series is based on has a brand new 5 Year plan.
Robert Kirkman’s Skybound Entertainment has inked an agreement with Entertainment One for the series based on an idea by the TWD EP of the final five years before a fatal meteor hits the Earth, I’ve learned. The two companies will co-produce and eOne will handle the financing and distribution for 5 Year.
If you think that pre-apocalyptic notion sounds a bit like the David Bowie tune from 1972’s Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars album or even Arthur C. Clarke’s The Hammer of God novel, you’d be right. But unlike those works, Kirkman’s idea has a much more global and simultaneously localized approach within its premise.
With international deals already in place for Korea, the UK, Latin America, Germany, India Russia, China, and Italy for the five-season series and more in the mix, the Kirkman, David Alpert and Jon Goldman-run Skybound aim to localize 5 Year to take advantage of the scope of the small screen. That means evolving beyond the initial Korean deal announced in 2016 to where a different version of 5 Year will be produced for each market with narratives and characters set in that region. Those individualized 5 Year will be in that locale or nation’s own language while following an overall timeline for the entire series.
“One of our biggest goals at Skybound is to elevate creators by offering them a platform to create compelling stories,” Kirkman told Deadline of the series and deal. “Working on 5 Year is an exceptional experience because it gives us the opportunity to see how writers and directors across the world tell different stories with the same core ingredients,” the Image Comics partner added. “We’re excited to have eOne’s expertise in global storytelling for this project.”
“We couldn’t possibly pass up the opportunity to work on a truly innovative project that blends multiple, local productions seamlessly into a story as it happens globally,” said Peter Micelli, eOne’s Chief Strategy Officer, Film & TV. “Robert’s talent for creating content universes and connecting with audiences through bold storytelling makes this partnership most exciting for us and we are thrilled to join forces with him and the Skybound team to bring a multi-level story like the 5 Year universe to audiences around the world,” Micelli noted. “In Skybound, we have found a partner that shares our drive to create future-facing content with worldwide appeal that challenges conventions and spark imaginations.”
Skybound’s Kirkman, Alpert, Bryan Furst, and Sean Furst will serve as executive producers for all the 5 Year series. The deal between Skybound and eOne, who have handled international distribution for TWD and Fear The Walking Dead, was put together by Kirkman’s agency CAA.
After years at AMC since TWD‘s 2010 debut, Kirkman signed an overall deal with Amazon in August 2017 with Skybound having a first-look pact.
The Walking Dead returns for the remainder of its ninth season on February 10, 2019.
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