After the somewhat shocking news earlier this summer of Frank Darabont leaving ‘The Walking Dead’ as show runner, AMC has done a good job of letting fans know the show will be as solid as ever. They spoke with new showrunner Glen Mazzara about his experience so far–and his vision for the show.
Mazzara certainly seems to be staying relatively true to Robert Kirkman’s comic book, but he’s definitely expanding on some things. One such area is the time spent at Hershel’s farm.
“What’s been surprising is that in the graphic novel the story that takes place on Hershel’s farm is really only a few issues. We’ve been able to mine that for many episodes, and we’re very excited about the depth to which we’re able to push the characters, the different dynamics that we’re able to explore,” said Mazzara.
Kirkman, it seems, doesn’t have much of an issue with the TV series taking some original twists and turns. Says Mazzara, “What’s great about this adaptation is that Robert Kirkman is such a huge part of it. In Crash, the writers and director of the film were involved at certain points, not involved at others, and then when the show deviated from what they believed Crash meant, I had a problem as a show-runner. On this show Robert has been very open to letting us tell our own story. Robert sees them as two different works of art — and they’re not in conflict with each other. As long as it’s good and as long as it’s scary, he’s happy.”
When talking about his most important rule of writing horror, Mazzara says the key is to “Keep the zombies scary. Zombies move slow and our guys have guns. So I have to make sure that our band is always threatened, that they’re panicked. For this show to be scary, we need to be convinced that the zombies are winning. So we really push ourselves as writers to make sure that we are not playing the same gags over and over. That every zombie feels unique, they feel different, that we want each encounter with a zombie to be memorable and not just throwing in a zombie for the sake of throwing in a cheap thrill. I feel that we have to make sure our characters are always in jeopardy.”
I completely agree. Keeping viewers on the edge of their seats is the biggest way this show will continue to do well in the ratings. This is a character and survival show, but the horror keeps everyone off balance.