The Walking Dead may be in it's off-season, but that doesn't mean the cast and crew are in hibernation. The show's creator, writer, and executive producer, Robert Kirkman, recently sat down at a NAB Show panel, alongside AMC network president Charlie Collier and Glenn actor, Steven Yeun to talk about things to come.
Season 5 left off in dramatic fashion. Morgan, the only character besides Rick visible in the episodes pilot who is still alive, became a beacon of hope for life. Rick, on the other hand, does whatever it takes to survive with seemingly no limits. Morgan journeyed up the east coast in hopes of finding the Rick Grimes he last encountered- a man who had hope for humanity and civilization. However, those of us who watched the finale know this hope was quickly squashed when Rick and Morgan were reunited over an execution in Alexandria.
“Having Rick and Morgan together, finally, again is a huge deal, and it’s definitely going to be a big part of Season 6,” Kirkman said. “Now, it’s a very different Rick and a very different Morgan who are going to have a completely different relationship."
That much is clear, but Kirkman didn't stop there. He added more about what aspects of their relationship we'll come to explore. He said, "it’s the questions of how they’re going to interact, how they’re going to work together — if they’re going to work together — and what comes from those interactions is going to be basically the spine of season 6.”
Spoiler Warning: Based on those statements, it looks like Morgan will be a focal point of season 6 of The Walking Dead. Should that be true, it is a deviation from the comic books where Morgan gets bitten (much like Tyreese's death) as a horde of zombies attacks the Safe-Zone not long after the execution of Peter Anderson. Switching character deaths from the comic books in the television series is nothing new for the series, which puts one major event in the spotlight. Ever since issue 100 of The Walking Dead comic books was published, fans have been eagerly awaiting the bitter sweet arrival of Negan. That would most-certainly mean trouble for Glenn if the show follows the iconic scene from comic book source material.
“We don’t kill the popular characters,” Kirkman joked to the room. As fans, we know this not to be true. Rest in peace, Hershel, Beth, Tyreese, and of course... Shane.
Yeun joined in on the discussion of his character dying, saying "That could happen." At least Yeun realizes no one is safe on the series. “The way that we make the show, the writers and everybody really want to focus on making things poignant and purposeful and meaningful,” Yeun added. “So if it were time for Glenn to go, then it’s probably going to be awesome."
If it's anything like the comics, awesome may not be the word. Gruesome, brutal, astonishing, may all be more appropriate.
As for the future of the show, Kirkman has no plans of slowing down or stopping any time soon. “This isn’t the kind of show where the creative team is going to say, ‘It’s important to us that we end it here. The story that we’re trying to tell is so big, and the framework is set in the comics. I’m producing more than 12 issues a year. All of that stuff is stuff that we would like to someday adapt into the show,” Kirkman said. Fans who are up to date on the comics know just how large of a world the series is creating, but based on what the television series has already been able to accomplish, the possibility of creating that world on TV is there. The enormity doesn't halt at the size of civilization, though. Let's not forget that a main character who is yet to be introduced on television has a loyal pet tiger in the comics! “Our longterm goal was to tell this unrealistically massive huge story, so by going season after season after season, we actually are maintaining the integrity of what we originally set out to do. So I think there’s a possibility to go for many, many years," Kirkman added.
Do you hope to see the television series of The Walking Dead follow story laid out in The Walking Dead comic books?
The Walking Dead returns for it's sixth season in October, while the companion series, Fear The Walking Dead starts it's first season run this summer on AMC.