In an interview with Collider, The Walking Dead executive producer Glen Mazzara told the interviewer that he views the movie as "an alternate universe" to Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard's fan-favorite comic book series.
"The comic book, and I’ve said it before, is a treasure trove," said Mazzara. "It’s a grab bag. We certainly have characters and story lines that we really want to do--but to get there in a TV series, you have to take your time. Sometimes you can’t get right to it. They’re two different mediums. So we make it our own and really own the material. I like to think of it as an alternate universe."
That's an interesting perspective, and it's one that's similar to the way the True Blood showrunners appear to be approaching not only Charlaine Harris' best-selling series of Sookie Stackhouse novels but also the tie-in novels and comic books. It angers a small percentage of the core fan base, but allows the shows the freedom to adjust the different format and to the demands of the television audience.
That said, certain plot points will likely stay the same, says Mazzara. When asked about character deaths in the series--a major part of the comics as recently as this month--the showrunner told the site that AMC has their eye on the ball.
"There are certainly deaths coming out throughout the season and this is definitely a show where we take that stuff seriously. I think we showed that in our last few episodes. [Those] sort of hard-hitting emotional deaths are still going to be a part of the show for as long as it’ll be around."