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As the brains behind the biggest comic-to-TV adaptation that doesn't feature superheroes, The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman is flourishing in the entertainment industry, and his next project took a wild step forward. Now called 5 Year, Kirkman's pre-apocalyptic TV series was first set up as a Korean drama, and already sounded ambitious. Now, the plan is taking 5 Year to countries around the world for a multitude of co-existing storylines.
Robert Kirkman is developing the 5 Year series from the central concept that the narrative will start five years before a meteor is set to collide with the Earth. Through a new deal set with eOne, which will co-produce while handling finances and distribution, 5 Year is evolving beyond its original Korean-centric plan to bring a different and localized version of the show to every country it's produced in.
Much like if Fear the Walking Dead and The Walking Dead had started airing during the same time, and without taking on any time jumps, 5 Year's new plan will see the same event being told through the eyes of many different characters from around the world. No word on if there would be room for crossovers in that respect, but there might not be as much of a call for it in this case. (Unless all of the different variations were available to stream internationally, I guess.)
At this point, international deals have been set up in Korea, Latin America, the UK, India, China, Russia, and Italy, so that's seven different 5 Year iterations right there. Plus the U.S. version, assuming that does indeed happen, possibly as part of Robert Kirkman's overall deal with Amazon. Though possibly not.
Here's how Robert Kirkman himself explained the motivation behind expanding the initial idea for 5 Year, according to Deadline.
One of our biggest goals at Skybound is to elevate creators by offering them a platform to create compelling stories. Working on5 Year is an exceptional experience because it gives us the opportunity to see how writers and directors across the world tell different stories with the same core ingredients
Not that we're looking for differences from The Walking Dead here, but Kirkman has a completely different goal in mind for 5 Year's lifespan. Its name not only indicates the amount of time its characters have left before being wiped out, but also the amount of seasons it's meant to last. It's an idealized way of preparing a TV show, perhaps, but considering The Walking Dead could last forever, Robert Kirkman has the precedence to think long-term for a project like this.
Beyond the ever-expanding Walking Dead franchise, Robert Kirkman also recently had the Cinemax show Outcast going for two seasons of demon-possessing fun. Next up for the multi-hyphenate will be another comic-to-TV take on one of his extremely popular titles, the now-completed superhero saga Invincible. 5 Year sounds like it'll be quite a few steps away from those, but will still utilize Kirkman's creative mind in interesting ways.
Stay tuned to hear what's coming up for 5 Year in the future. Meanwhile, The Walking Dead will continue its emotional and hectic Season 9 when it returns to AMC on Sunday, February 10, at 9:00 p.m. ET. The fall TV season and the midseason TV premieres will keep you busy in the meantime, though.