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Robert Kirkman Knows How ‘The Walking Dead’ Will End

Robert Kirkman has long described “The Walking Dead” as a zombie movie that never ends. Now, he’s changing his tune.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Kirkman, the executive producer of the “Walking Dead” TV series and writer of the “Walking Dead” comic books, says he’s finally arrived at an idea for how to end the post-apocalypse thriller. Now, the question isn’t about how “Walking Dead” ends — it’s about when.

“I do know what I’m building toward, yes,” said Kirkman, referring to how the comics will end. “I don’t know exactly what issue that’s going to fall on, per se, and I do have a lot of road laid out before that that is going to take a long time, but I certainly know exactly what I’m building to.”

Kirkman even knows the final page of the “Walking Dead” comic series, and he says that the idea came to him about a year or two ago.

“From the very beginning I would always plot these big, long overarching stories,” he said. “So it’d be like, oh, they’re going to get to the prison, then this is going to happen and then that’s going to happen and that’s going to happen. I wouldn’t really map out how many issues those were going to take, but I would always make sure that I had somewhere between two and ten years of story mapped out ahead of me.

“About a year or two ago, I finally nailed down exactly what I want the ending to be,” he continued. “So now I’ve kind of got two trails of story going in my head. One working to where I’m at very far into the future, and one working from the end backwards. When those two stories meet, then I’ll know exactly how long the story is. I’m rapidly approaching that point.”

walking_dead_127 Image Comics

Recently, the “Walking Dead” comics have made some big changes in the lives of Rick Grimes and his companions. (SPOILER ALERT, if you’re behind.) After the “All Out War” story arc, “Walking Dead” experienced a time-jump, lurching forward a few years in the future to see Rick as the leader of a flourishing, organized society, with his arch-enemy Negan languishing in prison. Could we see another time-jump before “Walking Dead” ends, or was the time-jump the first silo in the final act of the zombie drama? We’ll find out someday — maybe not someday soon, but someday.

For now, the “Walking Dead” TV show certainly isn’t ending anytime soon; season five premieres on October 12.

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