The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live showrunner explains how Jadis's long-planned arc informed the Rick and Michonne spin-off

Pollyanna McIntosh as Jadis in The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live
(Image credit: AMC)

The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live showrunner has opened up on how Jadis's long-planned arc informed the spin-off – and revealed that the Civic Republic Military wasn't ever actually supposed to be in it at all.

"She's the reason Rick winds up where he does, and we envisioned her as a very big part of the story," the franchise's chief content officer Scott Gimple says of Pollyanna McIntosh's complicated character in SFX magazine's new issue, which features Dune 2 on the cover. "Jadis's story was a long time in the works."

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Starring Danai Gurira and Andrew Lincoln, The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live picks up with fan favorites Rick and Michonne almost ten years after the former was whisked off in a mysterious helicopter in season 9. Turns out, over the last decade, Rick has been a "prisoner" of the CRM, the organization briefly introduced in Fear the Walking Dead, before being explored more fully in The Walking Dead: The World Beyond. The community – which is three-cities wide and almost entirely self-sufficient – believes secrecy is paramount and with that, bans its inhabitants from leaving without permission from the top brass.

Longtime fans will remember it was Jadis that got Rick on that chopper, so it's hardly a surprise that there are serious tensions between the pair in the new series. Jadis embracing her more selfish, villainous side after years of learning to work with Rick and the gang, and even falling in love with Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam), is unexpected to say the least. It's even more curious, then, that it's been in the pipeline for a while.

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As for the CRM, Gimple says, "In some ways, that was initially planned to come out maybe after this. And to be, in some ways, different," he adds, noting how the many delays in production shifted some ideas. "Timing got really twisted there. It was supposed to be another look at aspects of this; a smaller look, to tell you the truth. 

"But with all the shows, I always look for those threads to connect. You never know how things will schedule, how things come together, and the stories go. What works, and what doesn't. The CRM in this story, and everything that happens, is certainly part of that."

Andrew Lincoln as Rick in The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live

(Image credit: AMC)

The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live releases in the US on February 25 on AMC and AMC+. The above is just a snippet of our interview, available in the latest issue of SFX magazine, which features Dune: Part Two on the cover and is available on newsstands from Wednesday, February 21. 

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Freelance Writer

Tara is the NYT bestselling author (or co-author) of 30 movie and TV companion books including the upcoming official history of Marvel Studios. She's also a freelance journalist with bylines at print and online publications such as: SCI FI Magazine, Total Film, SYFY Wire,, Fandom, Fandango/, Fancast, Newsarama, Star Wars: Insider, Walking Dead Magazine, Star Trek Magazine, LOST: The Official Magazine, Alias Magazine, 24 Magazine, and She is also the U.S. Editor for the world’s premiere sci-fi/fantasy publication, SFX Magazine. She is the host and producer for SYFY Wire’s official podcasts for USA Network’s, Colony, HISTORY's Project Blue Book official podcast, and the Lost retrospective, Through the Looking Glass co-hosted with Maureen Ryan.

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