KANG: It was really important to us to try to close the chapter of this show and this story, but we know we have to leave some doors open to go into the future stories.
Scott and I talked about it and the feeling was like how do we just leave the door cracked without kind of, you know, forcing the other new shows into like exactly what that is.
KANG: I think we just kind of left it at this is about the future and the future is trying to know more about what’s out there in the world and what adventures is that going to lead to?
And I think that it’s really important after this story where they were so focused on where did we come from in the past and, can we go back to that.
Like, you know what, maybe we should go out into the world and see what’s up now that we found this peace.
KANG: You know, you want to have the candy for the audience, which is like the action and the adventure and the fun and the zombies, but ultimately, I do see the story and the show as having this really strong core of emotion and the feels.
And so, I think in just thinking about what does a final episode of The Walking Dead feel like.
It seemed like to me and the writing staff that it really is about this found family and how they fight for each other, how much they love each other, and even when there’s these just horrible losses around them, like losing Rosita, they find ways to move on and honor those memories.
That seemed something that was really key to the story.
DEADLINE: It in many ways feel like the real DNA of TWD….
KANG: You know, going all the way back to the pilot, it’s an incredibly emotional story, and it’s quite simple in some ways.
And so, I think that that really felt like it was important because I also think that that ties back to the story that Robert was trying to tell in the comic, and Scott was really supportive?
You know, I’m proud of the episode and I think the people that worked on it are proud of it.
GIMPLE: You know, I wanted to achieve a conclusion to the Walking Dead story, a satisfying conclusion to the Walking Dead story, and that had everything to do…I mean, action, absolutely.
But in the end, I think the big thing I was after was concluding this story and supporting Angela in her vision of what the story should be, and she and I were on the same page, this should conclude the Walking Dead story.
But it’s also like something about this story of the Commonwealth being so hung up on the past, it just feels like a good story to have those echoes to show how people have changed over time too.
It’s a case of here’s something that was like the past but what happens next and is that different or does that mirror exactly.
A series finale that is I think doubly hard when you know that you’ve got one, two, three spinoffs happening?
We don’t get a lot about Negan and Maggie in that lean into the future, even though we know a Dead City spinoff is coming, but we definitely get Daryl and the long goodbye with Carol, which seems to hint at things, and of course, Rick and Michonne.
KANG: I think with Maggie and Negan, I always had this thought that what is needed in that relationship is an attempt to reckon with the past because it’s still hanging over them and kind of getting to a point of apology and is that apology accepted or not.
So, the entire season, we had the ups and downs of that relationship, and it just didn’t feel true to me that she would accept the apology?
And so, that felt if you were just going to end the series, you could just end on that with them if we wanted them to be alive at the end.
But I think that that also just speaks to the emotional dynamic that carries into the next series?
You know, we didn’t feel like Negan gets to just be integrated with the group, and it’s like a kindness to Maggie that he doesn’t try to force that on her.
To get to that point or to be able to tell that story that we were telling in The Walking Dead, which is the way that you continue on through hardship is from the strength that you have drawn from all the people that you’ve known and love.
And in fact, I was really hoping not to…I wanted what they were saying to not overshadow what people were seeing as far as I didn’t want it to serve as a tease for the next thing, but rather a necessary view into the circumstances they’re in to get across the story that we’re getting across, which is the thing that keeps them going is the family that they have.
DEADLINE: Almost from the day it was made public that Melissa would no longer be part of the spinoff with Norman it has felt like she was about to become part of that spinoff again, you know what I mean.
KANG: Yeah, and at least now that felt like the best way to kind of deal with their story because we know that it’s like they are going in separate directions, but they’ll eventually come together at some point.
Just to me, but I think to a lot of fans, it’s not going to feel complete, it’s going to feel satisfying to see them, and everybody kind of was on board that idea
Truthfully, though, for a long time, we didn’t know if it was going to happen
And then, you know, ultimately, I wrote the finale script with Cory Reed and Jim Barnes, but at this point, we knew that Scott was going to do this spinoff show with Andy and Danai
So, it was like Scott, do you want to just write this because it sort of flows into your thing
I’d love to, which was great and very gracious of him, and I think he really did a great job working with Andy and Danai kind of talking about how do we, you know, not make it just feel like it’s a commercial at the end for the next show but just really like flow into what are the emotions of the episode that we have
It was really important to Andy, but I think Danai too that it didn’t feel like it was just a coda, that it somehow came as it was stitched into the end piece
DEADLINE: It looks a lot like New York City, and of course, with what Jeffrey and Lauren are doing, I’m wondering, are we going to see connections between the spinoffs themselves
You know, there was like this secretive part of this end scene, and then just working on the whole finale
Again, really trying to support Angela’s vision in any way I could, and then just sort of that crossover with the stuff I’m working on
I don’t know if this is going to do it, but I think it was 601 was the episode that we showed in Madison Square Garden
It’s like we got this bonus content, or this bonus level, where like on a video game where it’s like, oh, shit, we get to do it again
Because at the end of Walking Dead you’re like, man, we’ll never do this again, and then boom, we’re there doing it again
It was just such an amazing time doing that, even though I was working on Rick and Michonne at the same time, but it was really cool because I could pull Andy offset and be like, hey, man, what about this, that and the other thing
I don’t know, I just want to see what people think of the whole thing
I want to be there with them and enjoy that one last time because this in and of itself is singular and unusual, and there will never be another thing like it