When appearing at San Diego Comic-Con, Kang said there’s “still a good amount of issues left before the ending of the comic,” adding the show owes “such a debt of gratitude” to creator Robert Kirkman for “providing such a wonderful roadmap.”
“But I think what’s been really gratifying about working on the show all these years is that the show has that butterfly effect. Things in the show are not the same as in the comic, and so it’s created branching storylines that don’t exist in the comic,” Kang said.
“There’s characters — like Carol died a long time ago in the comic, Daryl doesn’t exist, Michonne is almost more like Andrea from the books. And so there’s been all these different roads that exist within the show itself as well as the kind of map that Kirkman has set out.”
The “genius” of Kirkman’s comic is “that he has created a series of possibilities of other roads,” Kang added. “We’ve gotta work on it, kind of a season at a time, but there’s also a longer view, always. So I think a short version is there’s still a lot of stories left to tell.”
The penultimate episode of Season 9, “The Calm Before,” drew from issue #144 of the comic book, which ended with Rick Grimes and company stumbling across a gruesome sight marking Whisperer territory.
Longtime executive producer Gale Anne Hurd agrees Kirkman laid out a “great road map,” saying at Comic-Con, “I loved that it had a hopeful [ending], a hopeful world. And I was wondering how he was gonna pull that off, and I thought it was brilliant.”
Hurd added the show still has a “long way to go” before reaching that hopeful ending, which followed a significant time jump.
“And the great thing about the television series is we can either jump ahead by a number of years or we could play those intervening years out in the show,” Hurd said. “I think it really will be a question of decisions made at a higher level, but I think we have a great road map.”
The Walking Dead Season 10 premieres Sunday, October 6 on AMC.