The Walking Dead Season 5 — consider yourself “claimed”! Season 4 of AMC’s amazing zombie show ended March 30 and Season 5 won’t arrive until October. We’re still a wee bit low on intel at this point, but bookmark this beast and return for updates as things progress. In the meantime, here’s what we know and/or can guess about the new season.
Season 5 Premiere: Seasons 1, 2, 3, and 4 all premiered in October, and AMC is sticking with the same undead timeframe for Season 5. Talking Dead will also return, to air after each TWD episode, and Scott Gimple is back for another season as showrunner. When will Season 5 premiere? TWD Season 1 premiered on Halloween 2010. Season 2 kicked off on October 16, 2011. Season 3 premiered on October 14, 2012. Season 4 premiered on Sunday, October 13. We’re guessing Season 5 will premiere on Sunday, October 12, 2014. That’s still just a guess, though, so don’t tell us to look at the flowers if it’s wrong.
Season 5 Filming: Lauren Cohan (Maggie Greene) told Entertainment Weekly she’ll go back to the Georgia set in mid-April. That fits with last year’s schedule for Season 4 filming, when several cast and crew members arrived in Georgia on April 23. AMC has yet to say anything official on the matter yet, but last year they released a press release in late February 2013, saying the cast and crew would return to Atlanta on Monday, May 6 to begin production on Season 4. That was the official filming start date, and if they keep to the same schedule, we’ll guess Season 5 filming could start on Monday, May 5, 2014. David Morrissey told A.V. club episodes take about eight days to shoot and the actors get the next episode script four days into the shoot. Scott Gimple tweeted that Season 4, Episode 1 wrapped on May 16, 2013. Update: As of April 28, 2014, the cast and crew were either in Georgia or on their way, with filming set to start on May 5. Huzzah!
Season 5 Will Be “Pretty Awesome”: Comic book writer/executive producer Robert Kirkman dropped a line about Season 5 into a previous tease about the Season 4 finale, telling TheWalkingDead.com, “There’s quite a bit of shock coming and I think people are going to be pretty startled with what happens moving forward and are definitely, definitely going to be anticipating the return of Season 5, which we’re working on right now and I can say is going to be pretty awesome.” Obviously it’s going to be awesome, but even if they suspected otherwise, who would say “it’s going to disappoint you”? Still, it’s good to hear they are hard at work.
Season 5 Will Make Beth the "New Sheriff in Town"? Loved that line in the finale flashback. Beth Greene (Emily Kinney) wasn't shown in real-time in the finale, but RK did say, “We will see Beth again... eventually." Her kidnapping mystery is being held over into Season 5, as we feared when they said there wouldn't be a quick resolution. If she isn't already at Terminus, will she save the day? Wouldn't you love to see Beth save Daryl? Or would you rather Carol save Daryl — and Rick, while showing Rick his baby girl is still alive? Here are six theories on where Beth might be (and who might be with her).
Season 5 Will Explain Terminus' Creepy Candle Room: Showrunner Scott Gimple told The Hollywood Reporter, "We will get more of that in episode 501. It looks like a memorial, and they could be super weird people who memorialize people they victimize, or it could be that something happened to them." More on that here.
Season 5 Will Be a "Nuclear Weapon": On the Season 4 finale episode of Talking Dead, Scott Gimple talked up the first half of Season 5, saying each batch of eight episodes is like its own season. He told Andrew Lincoln he'd be on the show even more in Season 5. (Yay!) Scott also added, "This next half season is going to I guess be a nuclear weapon." They're effing with the wrong people. Bombs will fall.
Season 5 Will Start With Action, Twists: The season is going to have 16 episodes again, split in half like they usually do. Showrunner Scott Gimple told Deadline, "I would say that these next eight episodes are going to be a little more action-heavy, with a lot of big twists. Really 85% of [the Team Prison members] are together again, so it’s a pretty good guess that they’re going to remain together and that’s going to give us a whole new emotional dynamic as well. So I guess the biggest thing is prepare for a very different Walking Dead. Yet again.”
Season 5's Carol, Tyreese, Judith Story May Surprise Us: An "unexpected direction" is coming for this storyline. Now what could that mean...?
Season 5 Will Give Us a Lot More of Gareth: But don't expect him to be like The Governor. More on that from Kirkman here.
Season 5 Hints Can Be Found in Season 4 Finale: RK told TheWalkingDead.com there's a big story to Terminus, which will be revealed in Season 5. "There are a lot of hints when you watch this [finale] episode closely of what’s to come in Season 5, so I would definitely urge everyone to watch this episode multiple times and try to pick out the things we’re teasing because there’s a lot to find." He said comic book characters would have a head-start on what's to come, but they always change things for TV. Still, it's pretty clear The Hunters are at Terminus, no? Should we also read into Beth being called the new sheriff in town, in the flashback? How about the powdered milk found outside a train car?
Season 5 Will Give Us New Rick: Before the finale, RK promised that the post-Ep 16 Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) would “shock people.” Andrew Lincoln added that Ep 16 marks a huge turning point for his character and Rick will be “irrevocably changed.” So the Rick of Season 5 will not be like Farmer Rick and maybe he’ll be even more ruthless than The Ricktator? Andy told Yahoo Season 4 ended in a "thrilling" place, and the cast is excited to return to shoot Season 5. "Everybody's going crazy. All the people that are still alive are texting each other." Sorry, Lizzie and Mika!
Season 5 Wants Us to Call Terminus People "Termites": Maybe it's a way to avoid calling the people at Terminus The Hunters, but Andrew Lincoln told Entertainment Weekly Rick is ready to exterminate the Termites. “We’re gonna open up a can of whup-ass! I’m so excited. I just know it’s gonna go off! It’s so cool! I have no idea how we’re gonna get out of there, but when we do, we will rain hell upon these Termites!"
Season 5 Will Introduce Burton: E! News wrote about the first new character of Season 5, while also referencing "those man-eating freaks who run Terminus" as if it's been confirmed that they are cannibals. Here's the intel on the new guy: "One of the allies we're most excited to meet is 17-year-old Burton. He may be young, but he's already suffered great tragedy when he lost his leg. Luckily Burton does not let his disability keep him down, and his positivity is infectious to everyone else around him."
Season 5 Casts Seth Gilliam As ___?: According to Deadline, The Wire alum Seth Gilliam, was cast as a character now being called "Michael Todd," but that is apparently not the guy's real name. The character is described as "having two sides, displaying a friendly, puckish humor but also having a haunted side stemming from a dark secret." We’re guessing this is a TV version of Father Gabriel Stokes, and he’s possibly with Beth, but we’ll find out the truth pretty soon.
Season 5 Scripts Finished By Summer: But the season finale itself is already nailed down. They know where things are going, even if they haven't finished writing it all down yet.
Season 5 Will Be Intense - Very: Scott Gimple told The Walking Deadcast, "These next eight [episodes] are going to be something very different again. Things are just going to have a much different tone and a much different practical reality moving forward. The season has a number of shifts of location, and even of the tone. But the tone for most of the season is very, very, very intense. [It's] going to be very different from the last half-season, and I loved the last half season, but it was always planned out in my head that there would be these big shifts, and we're about to have one of those big shifts."
Season 5 Might Feature Morgan ... Or Maybe Not: Will we see Morgan Jones again at some point? Scott Gimple told Larry King, “I am so determined to make that happen by hook or by crook. I can definitely say yes.” Some fans think Morgan might show up in the second half of S5, and here's why.
Season 5's "#cannibaltwist": This guy tweeted that he was cast on the show and added a hashtag about cannibals. Terminus spoiler?
Season 5 Will Tell Us More About Abraham and Eugene: In December, right after the mid-season finale, Vulture asked Scott, “Michael Cudlitz and Josh McDermitt have also been announced as new series regulars this season. For those unfamiliar with the comics, what can you say about how their characters, Abraham and Dr. Eugene Porter, fit in?” Scott answered, “We get to know them a little bit. They affect the characters’ stories a great deal, but we’re not going to get into their stories in a deep way until next season.” Scott didn’t say anything about Rosita Espinosa, but he wasn’t asked anything about her either. It’s pretty safe to say we’ll get to know her more too.
Season 5’s New Series Regulars: Christian Serratos (Rosita), Alanna Masterson (Tara), and Andrew J. West (Gareth) joined the season in guest/recurring roles but their contracts included the option to be promoted to series regulars for Season 5. And that just happened.
Season 5 Heads to Washington, D.C.? Should we consider this a valid spoiler? Acting-Auditions posted a casting call saying the show's casting directors in Atlanta and L.A. would soon hold auditions. Shooting takes place in Georgia, they noted, but they also added that "Season 5 begins with Rick and the group ... heading to Washington DC where they meet new danger and a new enemy. Once again, Rick must do whatever it takes to keep the rest of the group safe." That could just be an assumption or false intel, but the timing does fit with the comic book storyline, with Rick's group following Abraham and co. to D.C.
Season 5 Will Give us New Comic Book Characters? This is total speculation, but a while back we made a list of 10 characters from TWD comic books who could appear in Season 5. You never know! It’s pretty much a given that characters from the comics will appear in Season 5, it’s just a matter of which ones will show up and how they’ll be “remixed” for TV. But we’re guessing the arriving characters will be from the post-Issue #57-64 world, since the Season 4 finale included a sequence closely copying part of Issue #57 and Rick's final line was adapted from Issue #64, in reference to The Hunters.
Season 5 Hints From This Rick Poster? We're getting some religious vibes from the poster shown above, which may (or may not) tie into the comic book story/what's to come.
Season 5 Promo Details: If they follow a schedule similar to last year, we should get some decent Season 5 details over the summer. On July 1, 2013, TVLine revealed that Season 4, Episode 1 would be titled "30 Days Without an Accident," and a lot more details came out later that month at San Diego Comic-Con, including the official premiere date and that amazing extended trailer with details on the first four episodes. This year’s Comic-Con is scheduled for July 24-27, 2014.
Season 5 Will Be … Distracting? Not really. This is just funny. On March 26, showrunner Scott Gimple tweeted, “Not gonna lie, I was mulling some S5 show stuff and inadvertently shaved using a can of Sensodyne toothpaste this morn. Uncomfortably minty.” Someone open up his brain so we can see what he was thinking!