The Walking Dead: Dead City Will Feature References To Escape From New York And The Warriors

Despite recent cancelations and mixed fan reception, "The Walking Dead" is still very much a valuable franchise for AMC Networks. So much so, in fact, that we'll be getting several new spin-offs in the coming months, one of which is "The Walking Dead: Dead City." Set against the backdrop of post-apocalyptic New York City, the show will center around franchise mainstays Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) as they find themselves engrossed in a new post-apocalyptic civilization.

Of course, when you set an apocalyptic genre show in New York City, you are bound to draw some famous comparisons. At AMC's 2023 Winter TCA presentation, attended by /Film's Vanessa Armstrong, "Dead City" showrunner Eli Jomé teased how these homages help to create a world we have never seen in the "Walking Dead" universe before.

"'The Walking Dead' started with a fusion of classic stuff like John Ford, and then, you know, Romero, and fuse those together," he said. "These are more, I would say, contemporary horror references, but a little further down the line, like John Carpenter's 'Escape from New York' and 'The Warriors.'"

A brand new jungle

Hearing these two films get name-dropped by Jomé is quite interesting and could shed some light on what exactly this new environment is like. Both "Escape from New York" and "The Warriors" envisioned New York City as a crime-ridden, debaucherous modern wasteland. Curiously, both see the city essentially cut off from the rest of the United States for one reason or another.

If "The Walking Dead: Dead City" follows in these footsteps, then there might actually be a compelling story waiting for us. After all, it's hard not to wonder what a city as massive as New York would be like in the aftermath of a zombie, er, walker apocalypse. Could it really be as isolated and desolate as other zombie movies make it out to be? 

Personally, I don't think that's likely, but why take my word for it? Take it from Cohan herself, who describes this new environment as an unpleasant wake-up call. "What I like about the show being in New York and in this new terrain is that it's just unwelcoming," she said. "A few years on, we get to explore these notions of forgiveness and getting on with your life and really facing your own demons."

"The Walking Dead: Dead City" will premiere sometime in June 2023 on AMC.