With The Walking Dead about to embark on its ninth season, and Fear the Walking Dead well into its fourth, there’s more talk than ever about how and when the saga might end. But with the story continuing in the comic books – and some way ahead of where we’re at on screen – there’s still plenty left of Robert Kirkman’s apocalyptic zombie-virus tale to tell, if audiences want it. And with Fear following a hitherto uncharted arc quite apart from the comic books, combined with the main show departing from the source material in key areas, there are plenty of other options open to the Scott Gimple-run universe that don’t rely on Kirkman’s penmanship. This makes the future of the franchise a tantalising – and unpredictable – prospect.
As one of the show’s only remaining original cast members, and the only actor to cross over from one show to the other, Lennie James is a fan favourite. FANDOM asked the Walking Dead star how he’d like to see the story come to an end – and he responded with an intriguing take on where he wants the show to go.
Kaboom or Cure
“Those are the two options [for an ending], right? Either it’s kaboom or it’s cure,” he said. “[But] I think there are twists and turns before then. I would quite like to see a version where the virus mutates and does something new and unexpected to the walkers. Either they gain some kind of consciousness or they gain speed. And either one of those I think will be really interesting. Before we get to the ‘How does it end?’ I think there may well be the possibility of a mutation in the virus, and that might be a giggle. That might be challenging for the group. At the stage we’re at now, you’ve got to be very unlucky or really outnumbered – or surprised – for the walkers to take you out. If they gained consciousness or speed and they became a different proposition, I think that might catapult the story into interesting areas.”
Zombies with consciousness strays into George A Romero territory, while zombies with speed brings to mind 28 Days Later. Either way, a mutation of the virus would certainly inject new life (or should that be death?) into the show. As for how James would like to see Morgan bow out, he said it’s something he’s thought about for a while – although he was tight-lipped about one of his preferences. Could that be a hint that it’s a little close to home? Could Morgan be on his way out?
Boom — It’s Done
“There’s one version that I won’t tell you but I thought the way that Sasha went out when she made a decision to sacrifice herself and turn in the box and come out to try and take Negan out is a laudable way to leave this world,” he said. “That’s one that may well be in keeping with who Morgan has been and who he hasn’t. Failing that, I think it’s one of those that should take him and everybody around him by surprise. I think it’s one of those where he walks around the corner and – boom – it’s done. You don’t see it coming, you don’t know it’s coming, you don’t expect it to be coming, and then – bang – it’s done. Those are the two ways I think might be in keeping with who Morgan is.
Finally, FANDOM asked James for his thoughts on a fan theory that suggests Fear will merge with The Walking Dead in a season-long storyline via Morgan.
“Um,” he began. “I’ve heard that theory and only time will tell whether that will become a reality or not a reality. But the one thing I can say is if anything like that were to happen it’s almost certainly not going to happen in the way that anyone has come up with so far.”
The Walking Dead Season 9 premieres in the US on October 7 and in the UK on October 8.