7 New Walking Dead Villains That Could Replace The CRM

The latest Walking Dead spinoff left the franchise in need of some new villains, and there are several antagonists who could replace the CRM.

Major General Beale and Negan in front of the CRM logo in The Walking Dead


  • After the defeat of the CRM, The Walking Dead franchise is in need of new antagonists, but several potential villains could replace the military group.
  • With the lack of a central villain, there is a problem with the proposed crossover, and the CRM’s replacement as the franchise’s next villains is unclear.
  • Variant zombies are emerging as a potential central antagonist with the franchise reintroducing the undead as a primary threat in The Walking Dead universe.

After the CRM was taken down in the latest Walking Dead spinoff, the franchise is in need of some new antagonists and there are a number of potential villains that could replace the military group. The Ones Who Live showcased Rick and Michonne defeating the CRM and essentially ending the threat of the franchise’s overarching villains. Although they had only featured briefly in the main show, the CRM were part of World BeyondFear The Walking Dead, and The Ones Who Live, indicating they could be the main antagonists for years to come. However, Rick and Michonne’s spinoff changed that.

Without the military faction posing a threat, there doesn’t appear to be a leading villain in The Walking Dead universe. The main show ended with the survivors liberating the Commonwealth and turning it into a peaceful community, while Rick and Michonne did the same with the Civic Republic. The lack of a central villain creates a problem with The Walking Dead‘s proposed crossover, as there isn’t an obvious choice to oppose the main characters. Although the previous iteration of the CRM can’t fulfill this role, several new enemies could replace them and become The Walking Dead‘s next villains.

7 Primrose Team & The Zombie Virus Scientists

World Beyond Teased Some Potentially Evil Scientists To Oppose The Franchise’s Survivors

The Walking Dead World Beyond post credit scene

The Walking Dead: World Beyond wasn’t the most popular show in the franchise, but it served an important purpose in expanding the lore of the universe. It was instrumental in introducing the CRM and the group’s true intentions, but it may have also set up their replacement in the process, as World Beyond‘s end credits scene revealed the Primrose team and its scientists. Their appearance may have been brief, but World Beyond showed there was a potentially dangerous group out there with extensive knowledge about zombies, and they are even linked to Dr. Jenner from The Walking Dead season 1.

This scene seemingly took place in France, and while the Primrose team hasn’t connected with Daryl Dixon just yet, it could be how the group is properly introduced. World Beyond‘s post-credit scene seemed to indicate that these scientists may have potentially been the cause of the outbreak, yet despite being over a decade into the apocalypse, they haven’t found a cure. While this may be due to scientific limitations, perhaps the next Walking Dead villains are intentionally maintaining the outbreak. The Primrose team’s objectives could involve the undead taking over the world, making them even more sinister than the CRM.

6 Negan & Dead City’s New York Villains

Negan Could Return To His Villainous Ways Alongside The Dama & The Croat

Blended image of Negan and the Croat in Walking Dead Dead City

Negan was once the main villain of The Walking Dead, and after Dead City, he could be once again. Although Negan has developed significantly as a character and had his own redemption arc, his forced alliance with The Dama and The Croat could put him back on a villainous path. After helping Maggie find her son, he was betrayed and given to The Dama and The Croat, who wanted him to help lead New York. Despite somewhat making amends for his previous actions, Negan still showed some evil tendencies in Dead City, suggesting he could be the franchise’s next antagonist.

Although Negan has reservations about working with Dead City‘s villains, he has no real choice. This won’t automatically make him a villain again, but having power and control over New York may set him down a dark path and result in him returning to his old self. Negan was once The Walking Dead‘s best villain, and although the main survivors have beaten him before, battling the former Savior leader would be a full-circle story. Fighting the main characters will become even more tragic now that Negan has a personal relationship with them, making him a fitting CRM replacement.

5 Genet’s Group From Daryl Dixon’s Spinoff

Daryl Dixon’s Main Villains Could Extend Their Influence To America

Daryl Dixon next to Genet in The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon

Genet’s group has proven to be a pretty dominant force in France, and their influence could extend to America, making them the franchise’s possible CRM replacement. Although Daryl was able to valiantly fight her off and help deliver Laurent to safety in France, Genet and her group didn’t make it easy. They clearly hold a lot of power in France with most communities being afraid of the Cause, and if they aren’t fully dealt with in Daryl Dixon, they could become a problem for the franchise’s other survivors and potentially make their way over to America.

On the other hand, with Carol set to be a part of Daryl Dixon season 2, she may return to America to ask the other survivors for help. While it seems unlikely the entire main cast would pivot to France, there is potential The Walking Dead becomes European-focused, especially with season 3 rumored to be filming in Spain. There has been speculation that Daryl Dixon‘s villains are linked to the CRM, which could make sense given the military group still has spies all over the world. This means Genet’s group could become the military faction’s true successors.

4 The Prefect & New Babylon’s Other Residents

Dead City Set Up A Seemingly Dangerous New Group

New Babylon Welcome Sign

While Dead City‘s main villains could be a future threat in The Walking Dead, it also set up a potentially new group that could cause problems. New Babylon is a community that still upholds certain laws, having Marshals to ensure criminals pay for their crimes. On the surface, this seems like a normal group attempting to rebuild society, but their use of capital punishment and displaying their victims is proof they aren’t an ordinary community. Negan has already been in their crosshairs, but if the community were to expand, this could prove problematic for The Walking Dead‘s central characters.

They may be presented as a fairly small group in Dead City, but there are still a lot of unknowns when it comes to New Babylon. Their allies, effectiveness, and motivations remain unclear, meaning they aren’t the sort of threat to simply ignore. The Reapers were a relatively contained group, yet still played a big part in The Walking Dead season 11. While it doesn’t seem like the franchise has any current plans to extend New Babylon’s influence beyond Maggie and Negan’s spinoff, plans could change with the CRM gone, and they could become an unexpected replacement.

3 The Walking Dead’s Next Villain Could Be… Zombies?

Variant Zombies Mean The Undead Can Become The Show’s Main Threat Once Again

Zombies as seen in The Walking Dead series finale

Zombies have been a constant problem throughout The Walking Dead, and while the survivors have learned to adapt to them, they remain a crucial antagonist to the franchise. Over the years, dealing with zombies has become easier and easier, with the characters learning unique ways to avoid being bitten and evading confrontation with the undead altogether. This has led to walkers becoming a secondary threat at best and makes their role in The Walking Dead universe almost obsolete. However, the introduction of variant walkers makes them more dangerous than ever, and they could become the franchise’s leading threat once again.

Variant zombies have existed since The Walking Dead season 1, but they were quickly put on the sidelines. The change in showrunners meant zombies became slower and less menacing, but the last few years have begun the resurgence of these variants. Since season 11, the franchise has revealed zombies with fast movement and increased intelligence, as well as walkers with acidic and stone skin. All these unique zombie types make dealing with them far more complicated and prove that The Walking Dead could use these new variants as the central antagonist for a potential crossover show.

2 CRM Remnants After The Ones Who Live

The Ones Who Live Hinted At CRM Soldiers Operating In Other Communities

Major General Beale (Terry O'Quinn) and Pearl Thorne (Lesley-Ann Brandt) in front of the CRM base in The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live

Given the reputation surrounding the CRM, their swift defeat was a massive surprise in The Ones Who Live. While Rick and Michonne were unlikely to die during their Walking Dead return, destroying the military was certainly unexpected. However, the CRM isn’t completely gone, meaning the franchise could channel its inner Star Wars and deliver the line “Somehow… Major General Beale returned.” While Beale won’t actually return to The Walking Dead, the CRM could in some capacity, as they are still in operation under the Civic Republic’s oversight and could start their own revolution against the community.

Beale explained the CRM’s plan in The Ones Who Live finale, where he revealed they had spies in multiple communities all over the world. This means there are still plenty of soldiers who share Beale’s vision and could cause problems in the future. It may be difficult to make the CRM as strong as they were in The Ones Who Live, but the idea of any new community potentially having Beale’s influence despite his death could be intriguing. Therefore, a new iteration of the CRM replacing the old regime would be a fascinating way to keep the villainous group alive.

1 Whatever Designation 2 Was In The Walking Dead Season 11

The Walking Dead Season 11 Created An Unsolved Mystery With Designation 2

Josh Hamilton as Lance Hornsby, Laila Robins as Pamela Milton, and the Commonwealth army in The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead may have dealt with the majority of its villains, but Designation 2 remains the biggest unknown mystery. They were referenced in season 11, and while small glimpses of them were shown, the group’s true nature was never unveiled. Given they have a connection to the Commonwealth, Designation 2 becoming the next villain after the CRM makes perfect sense. The group seemed to have some sort of association with Lance Horsnby whose death may cause consequences, and Designation 2 could potentially be hiding in the shadows, waiting for their opportunity to attack the show’s main survivors.

At least a year has passed since Hornsby’s death without any major consequences, but this could be a result of Designation 2 planning their act of revenge. Knowing so little about the group makes it hard to speculate exactly what their arrangement with Hornsby might have been or what their motivations are, but based on their limited role in season 11, they seem like bad news. Just like the CRM, Designation 2 has a secretive nature, suggesting they would be a like-for-like replacement and a potentially dangerous next antagonist in The Walking Dead franchise.

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