The Walking Dead: World Beyond season 2 is directed entirely by women
“Equity was a big part of the decision-making,” says showrunner Matt Negrete of the all-female team that helmed the series’ 10 episodes.
How to watch The Walking Dead: World Beyond season 2 online without cable
A familiar face enters the scene when you watch The Walking Dead: World Beyond season 2 online, even without cable. The teen-centric spinoff of The Walking Dead is unfurling its final chapter. Yeah, it feels like it just began but now it’s ending. You can stream the premiere episode right now, since it dropped a week early on AMC Plus. The regular cable premiere on AMC takes place Sunday.
THE WALKING DEAD: WORLD BEYOND SEASON 2 START TIME, CHANNEL
The Walking Dead: World Beyond season 2 season premiere is streaming now on AMC Plus.
It will air at 10 p.m. ET on Sunday, October 3.
The Walking Dead: World Beyond season 2 wraps up the stories of teen sisters Iris (Aliyah Royale) and Hope (Alexa Mansour) and their friends Silas and Elton. They started out on a journey to find their father, a scientist working for the Civic Republic Military (CRM).
Their mission turned out to be a trick to recruit Hope into the CRM. She ultimately decides to go with the group, but only to take them down from the inside.
The Walking Dead: World Beyond returns Sunday night to AMC, and the second season of the zombie spin-off is notable because it is also its last. How showrunner Matt Negrete and co-creator Scott M. Gimple wrap up the series while also propelling the rest of The Walking Dead universe forward will be of interest to all the fans of the franchise.
But season 2 of TWD: World Beyond is notable for another reason: The entire season is being directed by women, and that is not unintentional. “Equity was a big part of the decision-making,” says Negrete of hiring an all-female team to helm its 10 episodes. “I’ve been in so many departmental and prep meetings that were either comprised of all men, or where the men greatly outnumbered the women, so ultimately, my decision just felt right on a number of levels.”ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: When you set out to film season 2, did you make a conscious decision to hire only women directors, and if so, why?
MATT NEGRETE: While my overall goal was to bring in a slate of talented directors with differing voices and backgrounds that reflected the diversity of the cast, I’ll say that equity was a big part of the decision-making. For season 1, I’d wanted to fill half of the directing slots with women, but unfortunately, due to some shifting production dates, we ended up coming up just short of that. So for season 2, I met with a lot of directors — men and women, from differing backgrounds and with varying levels of experience — with the goal of doing better. And when all was said and done, the directors I clicked best with were women.
Loren Yaconelli had directed the eighth episode of season 1 and really knocked it out of the park, so I jumped at the chance to bring her on as our season 2 producing director. Aisha Tyler had just finished directing a Fear the Walking Dead episode, and had this intense appreciation and respect for The Walking Dead universe. Heather Cappiello had also just shot an episode of Fear and brought an incredible passion to our meeting. And Lily Mariye had directed plenty of drama, action, and horror, and — like Aisha — had an acting background, which I always consider a plus.
Over the years, I’ve been in so many departmental and prep meetings that were either comprised of all men, or where the men greatly outnumbered the women, so ultimately, my decision just felt right on a number of levels. And, in the end, I think all of these talented directors brought a unique part of themselves to their episodes to great success.
Did you tell the cast this was happening, and if not, did anyone ever notice or say anything about all the directors on season 2 being women?
Once the directors were locked in, I sent the cast an email letting them know who we’d booked, and they were all really excited about the lineup. And as the season went on, I also heard from some of the crew who expressed to me how this slate of all-women directors was meaningful for them, how proud they felt to be part of a project with so many other women in key roles — not just as directors, but producers, first assistant director, art director, set decorator, and more.
I have to say, it means a lot to hear so many others express what this means to them. It’s really reinforced for me the value of diversity, equity, and inclusion not just in the film industry, but in every line of work.
When hiring a director, how much do you look for people who have already worked in the Walking Dead universe — like Aisha Tyler, who directed an episode of Fear the Walking Dead?
Because World Beyond is a new show set in an existing universe with existing rules, having directors with knowledge of those rules (and how to execute them on screen) definitely gives everyone an extra layer of comfort and reassurance on set. The hardcore Walking Dead fans have immersed themselves in our post-apocalyptic world for over a decade now, and they’ve developed an extremely critical eye, so if the smallest detail on set isn’t exactly right or a character’s reaction to something doesn’t ring true, it can completely break the illusion of the world. So yeah, experience in the universe, while not at all critical, is definitely a plus.
What can you say generally about the direction in season 2?
I’ll say that the direction of season 2 feels more mature and psychologically complex by design. Our characters have been through a lot. They’ve had to grow up fast and make some very hard decisions. To that end, it was important that the look of the show reflect that growing maturity, and thanks to our amazing directors and incredible (and incredibly hardworking) crew on the ground in Richmond, I think we pulled it off.
In the premiere episode, titled “Konsekans,” Hope’s commitment to the future is put to the test, jeopardizing a potential reunion. Meanwhile, Iris and Felix meet a new group.
Season 2 is bringing in Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh), first introduced in the flagship series as the leader of the trash people. She was revealed to be working for the CRM and was last seen taking an injured Rick Grimes to safety.
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