‘The Walking Dead’ at Cinema Level: Rick Grimes series breaks expensive zombie record

After more than 13 years, the spin-off about Rick and Michonne could give "The Walking Dead" franchise a new lease of life. At least that's what the budget suggests.

The Walking Dead is not necessarily known for its cinematic look – but that is likely to change soon. Despite some minor flaws, the spin-off “Dead City” already impressed with its high-quality images. The upcoming spin-off “The Ones Who Live”, which will premiere on 25 February 2024 (USA), could even go one better: The series is set to be the most expensive in the entire “The Walking Dead” universe.

You can get a first impression of the new style with the official trailer:

“The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live”: Almost five times more expensive than the original

According to the report by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, the production costs of “The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live” amounted to 82.75 million US dollars. This means that AMC spent a budget of 13.79 million US dollars per episode. This makes the Rick Michonne spin-off the most expensive “The Walking Dead” series in history – at least in terms of the budget per episode.

In comparison: the parent series initially had to make do with 3.4 million US dollars per episode. Over time, according to Collider and ScreenRant, this amount was even reduced to 3 million and 2.75 million US dollars respectively – even though “The Walking Dead” was able to bring AMC strong audience figures. Due to a lack of public figures, Forbes magazine estimates that even less money was available for the first zombie spin-off “Fear the Walking Dead”. The same is likely to apply to the less successful spin-offs “The Walking Dead: World Beyond” and “Tales of the Walking Dead”, as the visuals do not differ greatly from the original title.

Even more expensive? “Daryl Dixon” could soon follow suit

The situation is different with the new series “The Walking Dead: Dead City” and “The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon“. Both impress with their appealing and high-quality imagery, whereby the spin-off about Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Maggie (Lauren Cohan) in particular shines with its cinematic look. This is partly thanks to the high budget of 12 million US dollars per episode – a total of 72 million US dollars for season 1 (via Winter is Coming).

However, it is not known how much AMC spent on the Daryl Dixon series. The sum is likely to be similar, but probably less. The reason: “Dead City” and “The Ones Who Live” each had two stars from the original series in the cast, which will have entailed correspondingly high fee costs for AMC. Since “Daryl Dixon” initially focused on one “TWD” character, only a high fee could be expected. However, this could change for “Daryl Dixon” season 2, as Carol actress Melissa McBride also stepped in front of the camera alongside Norman Reedus.

Spin-off about Rick Grimes arouses anticipation

As “The Walking Dead: Dead City” and “The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon” were already visual highlights in the zombie franchise, fans are now rightly hoping that “The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live” could even surpass them. The anticipation is doing the rounds on social networks and elsewhere:

“The budget for The Ones Who Live is 83 million making it the highest budgeted season in TWD universe history. The show is gonna look great.”

The confidence is probably not only justified in view of the budget, as the Rick Michonne spin-off was originally planned as a movie trilogy. Although “TWD” director Scott M. Gimple and co. have deviated from this plan, the visuals are still likely to be geared more towards a blockbuster than the typical “TWD” look, which cinematographer David Boyd once modeled on Robert Kirkman’s comics.

Although we will have to say goodbye to the classic atmosphere of the zombie universe, the background landscapes, animals and explosions should finally be animated realistically and with great attention to detail thanks to the 82 million dollar budget. This could possibly make 2024 the best year for “TWD” fans.

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About The Author

Naveen loves entertainment and writing about it. He started his journey in 2014 as a web master and a founding member of Scrollbytes. He also has a degree in computer science and animation, and a certificate in digital marketing from DSIM. He is from India and he enjoys combining his passions for entertainment and tech in his websites.

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