The Walking Dead's new showrunner Angela Kang is priding herself on build the AMC show in a new direction in the wake of Scott Gimple's tenure and those who came before him.
Kang steps in as showrunner for Season Nine, which will unveil its first trailer at San Diego Comic Con next week, and fans should expect it to have a vastly different feel by comparison to recent years. In an interview with THR, Kang was asked to compare her style of showrunning to that of Gimple and the three other showrunner predecessors who came before her, revealing a promising outlook on the show's future.
"I've learned so much on the job," Kang said. "I came up on this show. The world of The Walking Dead is so strong. It started with such a clear core vision about this world of zombies and the dead. And yet, it's not really a show about the horror. It's about these core character relationships and emotional journeys. In that way, I'm staying very true to what we've always had on the show."
Still, Kang will inject some character-drivenn narrative and life to the show. "That said, we are opening a new chapter of the story," Kang said. "Scott Gimple has said Season Eight really closed one chapter of the show, and Season Nine is a new chapter. So, to come in to the showrunner role at that point is exciting. We're jumping forward in time, so we get to play with the look and the feel of the show. Both from a technical level –– we reviewed the filming style and continue to shoot on film –– but also in terms of the way the stories and the things look onscreen. And what we're seeing is a little bit different.
"We're seeing the world start to break down around our characters a bit more. They run into challenges, with things like the infrastructure breaking down around them and things that they used to scavenge being in much shorter supply. We get to see a world where they're not relying on unstable gas that's hard to find; they are taming horses; they're pulling wagons; they're fashioning more hand weapons so they don't have to rely on bullets as much. That's been really fun. We get to play while staying true to the principles of The Walking Dead that people love. It's a new era in terms of where our characters are at and the challenges they're facing."
For Kang, the showrunner gig is an exciting opportunity which she has an additional sense of pride for, being both a woman and person of color. Still, she approaches it like she would any job!
"What's funny is that I feel like I'm known for writing testosterone-fueled things," Kang said. "I don't really think about the fact that I'm a woman or a person of color because I have to run the show –– and the show is the show. Obviously, it's moving to me personally that I get to do this and there are some people for whom that's of incredible importance. It certainly would have meant a lot to me growing up — being kind of a geeky girl whose only love is entertainment — to see that there are women who do these jobs. Sometimes, as a woman on the job, people interact with you a little differently. Sometimes people open up to me in certain ways that are special, but it only helps me do the job."
The Walking Dead will return for its ninth season in the fall. Fear the Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 pm ET on AMC, returning for the second half of its fourth season on August 12th. For complete coverage and insider info all year long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.