Gale Anne Hurd Addresses 'The Walking Dead' Violence Controversy

A show whose premise relies on dead bodies coming back to life to feat on the living carries along with it certain expectations of violence, but last year's Season 7 premiere of The Walking Dead shocked even devout fans with its depiction of gore. During a recent set visit, executive producer Gale Anne Hurd explained how the show was merely honoring its comic book roots as authentically as possible.

"Look, this is the thing, this is a show that comes from a comic book," Hurd pointed out. "The only thing that we changed up in that episode is that two died instead of one. Issue 100 of the comic book was incredibly violent."

In the seminal issue, the villain Negan beat Glenn to death with a bat wrapped in barbed wire. Seeing as the character became such an integral component in the series, many had thought he would pull through any situation, with his death signaling just how terrifying Negan could be.

The TV series not only honored Glenn's (Steven Yeun) death, but surprised comic fans by including Abraham's (Michael Cudlitz) death at the hands of Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) to raise the stakes even higher.

As if these deaths conceptually weren't shocking enough, the special effects teams pulled out all the stops to showcase the gruesome death, shocking audiences around the world.

"For people who are fans of the comic book ... We've got to remember, without them, we wouldn't be making the show," Hurd confessed. "It's important to embrace that fandom. There are shots that are directly, once again, panels from the comic book. But, that didn't mean that the show, from that point on, maintained that level. It was setting up this character, it was an homage to the comic book, and it set us on course for an all-out war for this season."

For more from ComicBook.com's visit to the set of The Walking Dead, don't miss ComicBook NOW this week. Exclusive interviews and bonus content will premiere on Thursday at 7 pm ET, exclusively on ComicBook NOW's official Facebook Page.

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The Walking Dead's sibling series Fear the Walking Dead airs Sunday nights at 9 pm ET on AMC. The Walking Dead will return for its eighth season on October 22, 2017. The Season 8 premiere will mark 100 episodes overall for the popular AMC series. For complete coverage and insider info all season long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.

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