The Walking Dead is ending in 2022, but Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) and Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride) will ride on. The best friends will be getting their own spin-off in 2023, AMC has announced. While we don't know much about this show right now beyond the fact that it will exist, we know enough to gather it all here -- and we have one little inkling about what it will be about. This post will be updated as we learn more about the Caryl spin-off.
The end of The Walking Dead will set it up. According to AMC, The Walking Dead will end after a supersized 11th season that will conclude in 2022. After that, the Carol and Daryl spin-off is coming in 2023. Reedus and McBride signed contracts in 2018 that gave them the option to appear in offshoots from the main series, and that possibility is finally coming to fruition.
It will have some familiar names behind the camera. The spin-off is co-created by The Walking Dead Universe chief content officer Scott Gimple and current The Walking Dead showrunner Angela Kang. Kang will be the showrunner of the spin-off.
What will it be about? It's too early to say what the plot of the spin-off will be, or how Carol and Daryl will be spun off. Since Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead comic is over and provides no road map for the future -- Daryl was created for the show and Carol died early in the comics -- this will be an entirely new story. But Season 10 did hint at a future for Carol and Daryl.
In the Season 10 premiere -- a moment also included in truncated form in the trailer -- Carol and Daryl have an exchange fantasizing about leaving behind their lives of killing and surviving from one moment to the next in search of something different. "No more fightin', get on the bike and go," Daryl suggested. "Head out West," Carol yes-anded. Daryl suggested New Mexico.
AMC and the Land of Enchantment have a long relationship, with the network serving as the home of the New Mexico set and shot Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, which are co-produced by Sony. New Mexico has a robust film and television production infrastructure and favorable tax incentives, so it might be possible that The Walking Dead shifts it home base from Georgia for the new series.
Will the longtime best friends finally get together romantically? We have no idea about that, but the show has never depicted them as anything more than friends, and all the romantic 'shipping is projected onto the show by fans.
Here's what the people involved have to say about the show. "I look forward to digging in with our brilliant writers, producers, directors, cast and crew to bring this epic final chapter of Robert Kirkman's story to life for our fans over the next two years," Angela Kang said in a statement announcing the show. "The Walking Dead flagship series has been my creative home for a decade and so it's bittersweet to bring it to an end, but I could not be more excited to be working with Scott Gimple and AMC to develop a new series for Daryl and Carol. Working with Norman Reedus and Melissa McBride has been a highlight of my career and I'm thrilled that we get to keep telling stories together."
"Of course, I've always enjoyed working so closely with Norman throughout these many seasons. In playing Carol, and as a viewer of the show, I've also long been intrigued with 'Daryl and Carol,' and by what so early on between them, even then, felt somehow bound," Melissa McBride said. Their shared history is long, and each's own personal fight to survive, even longer – the more obvious aspect of what has kept them close and loyal. But there is also a rather mysterious aspect to their fondness for one another that I enjoy, and their playfulness when the world permits. I'm very curious! Angela has a way of shaking things up in great and unexpected ways. She's like a kid playing with the dimmer switch! I'm very excited!"
"I feel incredibly honored to be a part of The Walking Dead. This show changed my life and career and everyone involved has truly been a family for me over the last decade. I'm thankful for AMC's love and support and know there's so much more story to tell and so much more to bring the best fans in the world. Daryl's relationship with Carol has always been my favorite relationship on the show (sorry Rick)," Norman Reedus said. "I love the way these characters interact and relate to each other on so many levels and can't wait to see where their ride goes from here."
The Walking Dead's original Season 10 finale will air Sunday, Oct. 4 at 9/8c on AMC, followed by an extended Season 10 in early 2021.