Season 5 of The Walking Dead was the biggest one yet for the AMC series and things will soon be expanding with the highly anticipated launch of Fear the Walking Dead, a prequel of sorts to The Walking Dead that takes audiences back to the days when the zombie outbreak was just starting. The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman isn't resting on his laurels with the amazing success of the TV show, it's continued expansion and increased ratings - in fact the guy is still busy writing the comic books series that started it all. But Robert Kirkman has taken on a new assignment - and an unlikely one at that - by getting involved with Transformers 5 and their own plans on expanding their cinematic universe.
Fear the Walking Dead's New Family
First, let's lake a closer look at the plans Kirkman and AMC have for the new spin-off series Fear the Walking Dead. When the idea of following another group through the zombie apocalypse landscape might sound a bit redundant, placing the action during the first days of the outbreak, essentially those days when Rick was in his coma, and taking viewers to the west coast of the U.S. makes for a interesting perspective on The Walking Dead world.
Robert Kirkman recently elaborated in an interview with Entertainment Weekly on who and what we can expect to see in this new series. The show will follow two school teachers in Los Angeles during the very start of the zombie apocalypse and how their blended family (the couple are both divorced with kids form previous marriages) comes together to survive the initial outbreak. Kirkman pointed out how making the main protagonists school teachers gives the characters a certain set of skills when it comes to problem solving and people management.
A New Show & A Fresher Zombie
Making Fear the Walking Dead a prequel that charts the early days of the outbreak means that we'll be seeing a new kind of zombie in the show. Or at least a fresher kind of zombie that hasn't been busy rotting away for a while. Kirkman talks about the look for the show and what the legendary FX team has planned:
"Greg Nicotero and his team have definitely come up with a very unique take on our early walkers. It will harken back a little bit to the early days of the first season of The Walking Dead. But there’s also going to be some nuance, and some cool things added in that will give this show a very unique look."
And since fans will be a little ahead of the game concerning the threat that this new extended family will be facing in Fear the Walking Dead, Kirkman explained that this will only serve to amp up the suspense audiences will be treated to in the new show. Since viewers will have more information than the characters on the screen this time around - Kirkman is hinting that the tension may be even greater than it is on The Walking Dead.
From Zombie Apocalypse to Robot Apocalypse
So how does this get Robert Kirkman invovled in the inner workings of Transformers 5? Well, according to Variety, big things are afoot for the world of robots in disguise. Paramount wants to expand their Transformers into another cinematic universe and they're casting a wide net when it comes to collecting ideas and this has ended up catching Robert Kirkman and pulling him into the writer's room. Paramount and Hasbro aren't just looking for Transformers 5 ideas, this group of writers is expected to come up with sequels, spin-offs, ideas for possible TV shows and more.
The big Transformers think-tank is reported to include Robert Kirkman, Akiva Goldsman (Fringe, Da Vinci Code), Art Marcum and Matt Holloway (Iron Man, Punisher: War Zone), Zak Penn (The Incredible Hulk, Pacific Rim 2) and Jeff Pinker (Alias, Lost, Fringe). That's a pretty heavy duty group of writer and it is expected that Robert Kirkman can add a lot to these Transformer 5 brainstorming sessions between comic book and sci-fi writers.
One of the big criticisms of the Transformers movies has been their tendency to put the Transformers and their confusing mythology first which leaves the humans characters of the movie to be in the passenger seat and largely inconsequential or forgettable. The more memorable characters from the series have been the supporting cast, like John Turturro or John Malkovich, that have been able to have fun hamming it up in their roles. Robert Kirkman could end up being the guy who can put the emphasis back on the humans in these Transformers movies and get us to care just as much about them as the insanely loud robot fisticuff sessions.
What do you think? Are you excited about Fear the Walking Dead? Are you looking forward to seeing how it all began? Does the idea of Robert Kirkman getting involved in the Transformers universe give you hope for Transformers 5? Keep the conversation going in the comments section below!